How to reduce glare on computer screen: what is the problem?

How to reduce glare on computer screen

How to reduce glare on computer screen

You are probably familiar with the sight above … and subsequent eyestrain, general fatigue, headache, … – computer vision syndrome (CVS). Glare on computer screen need not be as strong to cause these effects and make you wonder How to reduce glare on computer screen. It’s not easy, particularly if you have lower tolerance to light.

How to reduce glare – a review of the basic principles

Glare is essentially a contrast in brightness. To reduce glare one may increase brightness of the darker areas, when a brighter objects contrasts with them. Conversely one may reduce brightness of a bright area (a source of light or its reflection) in the field of vision. Most likely, however, one will combine both simultaneously; increase and decrease in brightness.

How to reduce glare on computer screen – computer ergonomics

If you do not have light intolerance – photophobia, than reducing glare on computer screen is already tricky – if you would want to do it ergonomically. There are many factors that should be considered just from the lighting point of view:

  • the brightness of general lighting
  • the brightness of the computer screen
  • the positioning of light sources (windows and light fixtures) in relation to the computer screen
  • the type of light sources
  • the reflectiveness and the color of the surfaces behind the computer screen

There are plenty of advice on computer ergonomics. Choose your favorite from this list.

In reality most people do not bother with computer and light ergonomics. Following the basic principles of glare reduction described above, people tend to resolve their computer screen glare problem with high brightness of their computer screen (generally office lighting tends to be too bright for computer work). This fix enables the user to see what is on the screen because the brightness of the screen overpowers both glare and reflections. End of the story … that is if you have normal tolerance to light (or until you have it).

How to reduce glare on computer screen if you have light sensitive eyes – photophobia

Reducing glare on computer screen becomes trickier for light sensitive people. Looking into a computer screen – a source of light for many hours a day  at high brightness level becomes a problem as one’s tolerance to light drops. Subsequently one tries to reduce brightness, also by changing the text-background color combination. When you do that, both glare and reflections are back on your screen because, in addition to being a source of light, a computer screen is also a smooth (glossy) surface with mirror-like properties. As a computer screen emits less light it becomes more like a mirror; full of CVS provoking glares and reflections.

The video below might help illustrate the problem. Besides, it lends itself to the first helpful hint related to the question how to reduce glare on computer screen.

How to reduce glare on computer screen – Glossy vs Matte



Hint #1 on How to reduce glare on computer screen: get a matte screen (with a matte frame). It will not be the end of your glare and reflection problems, but it is a good start.

Would you like to add anything?

After several years of trying to reduce glare on my screen I think I have gotten reasonably close to a decent solution.  So in the future posts I will explain how I went about answering the question How to reduce glare on computer screen. And here is the latest post about how you can have reflection and glare free computer lighting.


2 thoughts on “How to reduce glare on computer screen: what is the problem?

  1. Simply reducing the intensity of the screen has worked for me. In addition I select a yellowish antique paper background when it is available. I prefer to leave the contrast set to high for clarification but light at low for my overly sensitive eyes.


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