Tips to get the right lighting for when you are studying
Location and orientation:
Overhead light: make sure that the main lighting in the area comes from above. If you are right-handed, the light should come from above your left shoulder, so as not to generate a shadow that is projected over your study materials. If you are left-handed, always try to get the light coming from over your right shoulder for the same reasons.
Directed light: add a light that focusses on your study material. Use a focus that can be directed to adjust it to your needs and avoid annoying reflections.
The combination of these two types of lighting is the key to creating a perfect environment for studying.
It is recommendable to be able to adjust the lighting to adapt it to your needs, especially in the case of directed light. When you are studying, reading a book is not the same as underlining notes or studying directly from a computer or tablet.
To control the intensity of the lighting in an area it will be useful to know what a lumen is. It is a unit of measurement used to determine the actual amount of ambient light (luminous flux) emitted by a light source. The greater the number of lumens, the more illuminated the room will be.
And then there is the lux unit, which determines the illuminance or level of lighting. One lumen per square metre is a lux. This simple example will help you understand: If your room has a lamp of 1,000 lumens, and the surface of the room is 10 square metres, the lighting level will be 100 lux.
Knowing this, you can choose the bulbs that will give you the lumens necessary to light your room correctly, with an estimated 90 lumens per watt (90 lm/W). You should also take into account that the number of lumens required to properly illuminate a square metre used for study is as follows: between 400 y 500.
The temperature or colour of the light can be cold, neutral or warm. Cold lighting is especially suitable for activities that require concentration, detail and focussing over short distances. It is measured in Kelvins.
In this regard, cold lighting activates the circadian rhythms, that is, it acts as a stimulant since it slows down the production of melatonin, the hormone produced by the body that regulates the day-night cycle and the sleep-wake cycle. It has a narrower wavelength which is similar to that of a clear sky at noon.
This is why warm lighting, which has a broader wavelengths that simulate sunset or candle light, is not recommended for studying. This type of lighting is recommended for places where you go to rest, including the living room where you do not undertake complex activities and the bedroom.
The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is the unit that measures the ability of a light to faithfully reproduce the colours of an object, taking natural light as a reference. For studying, a low CRI is recommended, because it helps you to concentrate and is restful on the eyes.
Taking these two recommendations into account, you should choose cold bulbs (4,000-5,000 Kelvins) with a low CRI for the lamps in the area where you study. However, if you are going to spend a lot of time studying over a long period, we recommend that you moderate the temperature of your bulbs and look for a more neutral light.