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by Elaine Kitchel, Research Scientist
American Printing House for the Blind                             

  1. Consider using natural light, incandescent light, or a mix of lighting technologies as employed by the Robinspring 32 lamp whenever possible for task lighting. This light should be directed below eye level.  For those who are light sensitive, bright or direct natural light should be filtered through UV blocking film or tinted glass, usually of a clear, amber, or pink color.
  2. Avoid fluorescent light when possible.  If it cannot be avoided, then use warm white tubes (F32SPX30) or the Robinspring 32 lamp.  Try to avoid cool white or blue-white tubes, and the Ott light completely.  The ultra-violet and blue light produced by these often causes photostress and headache in persons with low vision, which results in diminished endurance and capacity to work.
  3. If you have normal vision and must work under cool fluorescent light and suffer from late-day headache or eye strain, then it could be helpful to wear UV filter glasses to filter out the harmful ultraviolet,  violet and blue light waves emitted by the tubes overhead.  For indoor use most people prefer clear or light yellow glasses of the type made  by NoIR, Corning or SolarShield.  The light plum or new filter color "topaz" is preferred by persons with retinal problems. It is also helpful in many cases to supplement your fluorescent light with a soft pink incandescent bulb and fixture, to reduce glare and harshness, or you can use the Robinspring 32 which offers new technology in fluorescent lighting that is very friendly to persons with vision problems. The Lighthouse Sore
  4. For visual comfort and glare reduction, avoid white or blue walls.  The best wall colors are pink, peach, and warm beige.  Textured walls are better than smooth, shiny ones.  Put up posters or wall hangings to soften highly-reflective areas.
  5. Desk lamps, spot lamps, track lighting fitted with warm white, pink (Sylvania or GE), or peach (Phillip's) bulbs are all good choices for office or decorator lighting. Though the bulbs are painted pink or peach so that you may find them in the store, they do not actually put out pink or peach light, but rather they put out light from the part of the spectrum which is long-wavelength light and is much easier on the eyes. 
  6. Computer users may benefit from the use of glare filters. Effort to eliminate blue or white monitor work screens whenever possible should prove helpful.  These screen colors emit quantities of ultra-violet rays which cause the retinas to work very hard. This light produces glare and strain.  If possible, screens should be adjusted to black, or pastels, with contrasting letters or graphics. Low vision users usually benefit from a black screen with bright yellow or pink letters or graphics.  Computer users who are visually impaired, even those who use UV screen filters, are advised to wear clear or light yellow filter glasses when working at the computer.
  7. For best results, print memos and letters on pink or other pastel paper.  This reduces glare and makes your document more readable.  Studies have also shown that people are more receptive to information printed on paper of warm colors.