Is your desk lamp really working for you?

4 tips on how to instantly improve your productivity and boost your environmental wellbeing

Most of us have one – that lamp that adds a bright focus to our working area. But is it set up for optimal benefit? Or, is it actually doing us more harm than good? You might be surprised at how some very simple changes in lighting could improve your motivation, help you manage concentration levels, fatigue, eye strain and even impact your decision-making processes and overall mental health. These could be especially helpful in these long winter days of working from home. Here are some things to consider:

Is it too bright?

We often want the light from this ‘booster’ source to be very bright, but if it is significantly brighter than all the rest of the light in the room it will mean your eyes focus too heavily on whatever it illuminates and you become somewhat myopic, losing your periphery vision. It is unnecessary for it to be dentist-bright! A more diffused, or softer, light will support reading and vision just as well, but without the exhausting glare.

Is it in the right position?

It should point directly at what you are reading, but not cause any reflection off nearby screens or glass. One suggestion is to try placing it behind the screen of a laptop leaning over the top to diffuse more light across the keyboard.

What kind of lightbulb is in there?

LEDs and ‘cool’ light sources are traditionally based around a blue source – even if the light we are actually seeing is white or yellow, the light our brain is recognizing is blue. This is helpful in small doses to help stimulate our minds and bodies (sunlight also gives us a small proportion of blue light to do the same, but only in the morning at any significant level). However, excess exposure to spikes of blue light results in malaise, in damaged sleep patterns and even depression. Try purchasing a ‘Circadian friendly’ or ‘BlueBalanced’ lightbulb. This new technology will change the way your brain responds to the light and set you free to make more balanced decisions, be more motivated and also to sleep better when it is time to switch off from work.

Is it flickering?

The answer to this is almost certainly, yes! Some may be caught on camera if you film them in slow motion, but even those that don’t show up here are probably strobing to some extent. This is exhausting for our brains, even though we barely ‘see’ the effect externally, and can make reading and concentration extremely difficult. Particularly if you are naturally sensitive or hypervigilant anyway – someone with anxiety, ADHD, autism or anyone who struggles with reading, will really battle beneath this constant adjustment. Replace the bulb with the new generation of ‘Flicker Free’ lamps and enjoy improved concentration, and less headaches or malaise.


Nothing beats getting out into natural light, but there are now solutions that combine medical understanding of human systems and the latest technologies to achieve Flicker Free, BlueBalanced, human centric lighting that dramatically improves our visual, biological and emotional response to light in our indoor environments, bringing natural light equivalents indoors. This approach to lighting is revolutionary, and when applied in a working environment can have a dramatically positive effect on our brain, and our wellbeing.

So, if you have a tendency to feel malaise, agitated, or ‘always on’ – consider switching your desk lamp light source to a human-centric light solution, reducing blue light and eliminating flicker.

Read more about the science behind the Blue light effect: www.ageoflightinnovations.com
Created by the UK start-up, RAY Lighting, the SunRAY ranges introduce world-first innovations to achieve a truly Circadian friendly range of LED bulbs using BlueBalance Technology. Combining many years of experience in the lighting industry, a passion for beautiful design and a drive to bring organic, natural light into all aspects of our lives, RAY Lighting has succeeded in creating Full Spectrum, Flicker Free, violet chip and ‘Nature’s blue’ LEDGU10/MR16 form light bulbs amongst their family of products.