Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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How can I get rid of glare?

Everyone is bothered by glare when looking at something very bright against a darker background. To minimize glare:

  • Avoid placing very bright lights against dark ceilings or walls. Choose light-colored walls and ceilings to soften the effects of bright light.
  • Use shades, blinds, or curtains to minimize glare from windows.
  • Spread light over large areas by lighting ceilings and walls, or by using fluorescent tubes shielded from direct view.
  • If you want recessed downlights or "cans" mounted in your ceiling, choose a deeply recessed fixture to minimize direct view of the bulb.
  • Avoid clear lenses or shades on fixtures; they do not shield the light bulb from your view.
  • Place task lights to your side, not in front of you, to avoid reflected glare from shiny surfaces, like polished wood or glossy magazines.

A. B.
Place your task light to your side (a) to avoid glare bouncing off shiny surfaces (b).
  • Shield bright objects from your usual lines of sight. For example, if you can see a light bulb when seated at your dining table, hide the direct view of the bulb by adjusting its shade or repositioning the fixture.
A. B.
Block your direct view of light bulbs with a shade (a) or shielding board (b).
Aim lights on the object you want to see, not on your face.

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