I have a long history of trying to figure out how to reduce glare on computer screen. For a light sensitive person, this is a difficult and complex task of cutting out glare and reflections one after another. You start with the glare that bothers you most and once you tame that one you discover another disturbing glare. So you continue until you find a tolerable solution. My intention with the next several posts is to revisit the process of reducing glare on computer screen (indoors). I hope the articles will help you find good solutions to your specific situation faster. This post is on what to do if the sun shines into your office.
(By the way, I haven’t gotten as far as trying the Laptop Compubody Sock featured in one of the photos above. However, I imagine it wouldn’t work for a person with low tolerance to light. It is very close to computer work in darkness – you do get rid of all indirect glare, but make the direct glare from the computer screen worse.)
Direct sun in the office has the following glare related effects:
- if shining directly on the computer screen it makes reading impossible
- if shining in other places in your field of vision it generates strong glare
- if sunlight falls out of your field of vision it is likely on some surface behind you which in turn will reflect on your screen
- as sunlight enters your office at different angles at different times it is impossible to come up with one solution for the whole day (unless you block the sun out completely – which tends not to be a popular solution)
How to reduce glare on computer screen – direct sun glare
Blinds. An obvious solution, but unless you have your own office, blinds can be unpopular – when down for comfort of the people close to the windows, blinds block the outside view for the rest. (External blinds – see picture on the right – are my favorite type of blinds. They combine the benefits of a lighshelf (see below) and blinds: one can incline the reflective, metallic slats such that direct sun is blocked and reflected up onto the ceiling turning sunlight into much more comfortable, indirect light. In addition, wider slats allow a greater degree of outward visibility.
Lightshelves; which both blocks direct sunlight and directs it into the room by bouncing it off the ceiling (see photo), turning sunlight into indirect light. Lightshelves and blinds can normally be retrofitted to existing windows.
Computer monitor hood; may be a good solution if blinds or lightshelfs are not an option. You can try it out by making one yourself out of cardboard. Or you can buy one, for example on Amazon (Disclosure: commission link). Note that a hood does not reduce glare that arises from light or illuminated areas behind the user. Since this tends to be the principal source of glare, hoods are of limited usefulness and are seldom used.
Hint #2 on How to reduce glare on computer screen: if you can, get an office facing North (northern hemisphere); South, if your location is south of the equator. You’ll avoid direct sun glare altogether.
I look forward to reading about your experience with reducing direct sun glare on computer screen in the comments!
Ps: This post is a sequel to How to reduce glare on computer screen: What is the problem? Take a look in case you feel you need some background on:
- how to reduce glare in general
- the generic advice on computer ergonomics, and
- why reducing glare on a computer is such a complex task if one is light sensitive
- Hint #1 on How to reduce glare on computer screen – Glossy vs. Matte screen
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