Did you know that light will, more than often, have a significant impact on your studying experience? Unless you get the right lighting, you will end up with eye strain or even other health complications. It is in this light that we seek to explore which light is good for studying.
It would suffice to mention that LED and CFL lights have become relatively popular in task-related spaces. We could attribute this to the friendliness and energy efficiency that they tend to provide. But the truth is that it goes beyond that.
Which Light Is Good for Studying?
The obvious answer to this question is natural light. A room with a big window and lots of natural sunlight is perfect. But of course, we don’t just want to study during the day or when the sun is shining.
A large percentage of studying is done at night, and even in bed. We will cover studying in bed later; it’s a big no-no, and not just for your eyes.
Natural light and a desk facing away from direct sunlight are optimum for study. But, when this is not possible, which type of artificial light should you use?
The biggest reason you need to select your lighting carefully for your night owl study sessions is so that your eyes can keep up with the workload.
How many times have you been studying at night and had to quit before you had finished because your eyes were aching?
Chances are that bad lighting played a role in your aching eyes. When finding the right type of light for study, you will be amazed at how many options are open to you.
Not only can you choose the type of bulb in your study lamp; you can also select color temperature. Next, we will discuss the different colors for study and what each one is good for. As a very general rule of thumb, a bright white light is good for study; but this is not to everyone’s tastes by far.
#1. Color Temperature for Reading and Studying
There is a huge range of color temperatures that you can use for reading and studying.
Less than 2000k is what is compared to candlelight or very dim bulb. This type of lighting is best used for creating ambiance rather than for studying.
A color temperature of between 2000 and 3000k is still considered a soft glow, and considered by many to still be yellow even though it is actually classed as white. This type of lighting is used in bedrooms, living rooms, as well as outdoors.
When you increase the color temperature to 3100 to 4500 k, this is the bright white light that you find in offices and kitchens.
When you further increase the color temperature to between 4600 and 6500 k the result is a white-blue glow that is perfect for large work areas where bright illumination is required.
Anything above 6500 k is usually only found in commercial places, the light emitted being bright blue.
#2. Color Accents for Studying
Asides choosing between yellow and white light for study, you may actually like to add a colored accent to your study area.
Note, this should not affect the 4500 to 6000 k required for optimal studying.
Here we are talking about actually adding color to your room and study area. Different colors have different wavelengths, and changing the colors you are surrounded by can help with things such as anxiety and depression.
- Add Purple
If you are feeling unmotivated, adding purple accents to your study area can help calm and rejuvenate how you feel. Purple is a healing color, and can be introduced to your study area in your furniture, notebooks, or even the color you take notes with.
- Add Blue
Blue accents in your study area can help with anxiety at work and also in your study area, blue being a low wavelength color that is associated with its cooling affect.
- Add Green
If you feel like you are spending too much time at your study desk, add some green in the form of a plant or a green painting. This will create the impression that you are outdoors and not stuck indoors studying.
- Add Yellow and Orange
Yellow and orange accents can help with inspiration and depression; but please note that this does not mean changing your bulb to a yellow one. A subtle yellow such as the color of your curtains or backdrop to your study area will fill you with bright and happy thoughts.
- Add Red
Red can brighten up your study area when you are feeling tired, but should be avoided as an alternative to getting enough sleep and actually using the right bulb in your study lamp.
LED vs. CFL for Studying
You can hardly overlook how valuable both CFL and LED tend to be. Perhaps, it is for this reason that they have become predominant in offices and libraries.
- CFL bulbs have proven to be reliable in both general lightings and overhead fixtures.
- On the other hand, LED assure you of enhanced light, which is usually directional.
Thanks to its energy efficiency, affordability, and longevity, LED tends to edge out CFL. As long as one chooses the right LED lamp with white color light, their studying experience will be matchless.
The choice of a studying light is also a matter of personal preference. As such, we have different variables that people need to consider when selecting their ideal light. Such aspects will include the following.
Did you know that eyes are more comfortable when exposed to layers of light rather than one source? As such, overhead lighting that provides directional light could come in handy for you. If you are looking for the most reliable overhead lighting, CFL will be best for you.
White light has a way of improving your mood and even cognitive function. As long as you want to study comfortably, this should be your choice. It will also be crucial to indicate that 3000K to 6000K will be good enough for the best experience.
How intense should your light be? Naturally, dull bulbs will expose your eyes to significant strains in the long run. While at it, it would be valuable that it does not become way too bright for you. An average of 450 lumens to 600 lumens will be friendly enough for you to study comfortably.
For the ultimate studying experience, it will always be valuable to consider lighting that assures you of even distribution. Preferably, it should be directional, as is the case with LED. This way, it will comfortably cast to your studying tools without necessarily affecting anyone else.
As mentioned earlier, the eyes seem to be more comfortable when under layers of lighting. With this, you will no longer need to worry about headaches in the long run. For instance, OLEDs will be vital for those who want to avoid migraines, as it comes with up to six layers of lighting.
Now is the time to have a top-quality studying experience. With LED light, you will have no reason to worry. However, you could also consider CFL as an alternative.
Is Reading in Dim Light a Bad Idea?
As we mentioned above, studying in bed should be avoided, as should studying where the lighting is very dim.
Although these practices will not adversely affect your eyesight, they will make your eyes tire much more easily.
When studying at a desk, a good set of LED lamps above head and a study lamp shining on your books is the best solution for productive study sessions.
Top Tips for Studying Lightings
#1. Shouldn’t Study In Dim Light
As we said already, you should not study in dim light, and studying in bed by a dim bulb should never occur. The best type of lighting for studying at night or after the sun has gone down is a bulb that mimics natural daylight.
A cool white bulb is the most natural and a bulb between 4000K and 6500K will ensure you stay awake and alert for longer. When you use white light for studying as opposed to yellow lighting, you will feel more alert and ready to soak up the information you are reading and studying.
#2. Choose LED Lamps
Asides choosing white as opposed to yellow or blue lighting, you should also choose a bulb that works best for you. Here you will have the choice of standard and LED bulbs. A single bulb is not great at dispersing light, even if it is the correct type of light.
An LED lamp with various bulbs along the length will disperse the light evenly across the room. You only have to look in any modern office to realize that LED strip lighting is the way forward.
#3. Consider Widespread Light
Spotlights on desks are OK for extra light, but this kind of lighting will only illuminate a small area, meaning your eyes will have to work harder.
Modern lamps however do generally come with rotating arms and heads, ensuring you can adjust your lamp and the light it gives off to the area you need more.
Traditional lamps like those you find in your grandma’s home that come complete with a lampshade really should be avoided at all costs if you are keen to get good grades!
#4. Look at Dimmable Light
A dimmable lamp is also a good investment, as you will require different amounts of artificial light depending on the time of day, early evening only requiring a small amount of extra lighting. A lamp that is blasting on full when the sun is only just starting to go down can actually cause damage to your eyes.
There are plenty of different study lamps available in the market. But, before you rush out and invest in one, make sure your study area is correctly set up. Where at all possible, study by day, and avoid a desk that points to the window.
Not only will the direct sunlight distract you, more than likely you will start daydreaming about being outdoors instead of sat by your desk. A room with a large window and plenty of natural light is the best place to study. But this is not always possible as we already mentioned.
For the optimal studying sessions, choose white light with a color temperature of between 4500 and 6000 k; anything below this is known as yellow light, and is too dim for reading and studying. When you go above 6000k, you will generally find only lighting used in large commercial premises.
LED lights in strips are far more effective for lighting up your entire room as opposed to the small area that is lit by a traditional bulb with a lampshade. Your overhead lighting should be combined with a desk study lamp that will be used when the sun goes down and at night.
Your study lamp should be adjustable to ensure that you don’t damage your eyes with light that is too bright. A dimmer is a must when choosing a study lamp, as is a lamp that can be moved with a rotating arm and head.
Although it may take some time to get your new study area set up, complete with some color accents, it will be worthwhile. Studying in inadequate light and propped up with a pillow in bed may not damage your eyesight, but they will have an effect on how long you can keep on studying before your eyes get tired.
So, ensure you light your study area effectively, and watch how your grades improve as your eyes stop letting you down and getting down before its time to put your books down.