Dividers to the right, please.

Lights Out

Anyone else prefer to work on the computer with the lights out? Something about the high contrast of the screen and my hate of glare makes me prefer to program this way... i keep hearing it's terrible for your eyes, any truth to that, and any others that prefer to work this way?
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
I prefer to work in the dark, too, though I couldn't say why. Well, at work I know why, it's because I hate the fluorescant lights.

Truthfully though, after a few hours of that my eyes begin to hurt much more than they would if I had the lights on, but that might have more to do with my four-year-old glasses.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 20th, 2006
I hate the florescent lights too, if I use anything its a small lamp. Here at the office the flourecent lights can only be turned off by the motion sensors... so if there is no one in the office or little movement they will turn off after 15 min or so, but usually some dick beater goes and waves his hand to turn them on.
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
We have huge sliding doors with natural light STREAMING into the office for most of the day, and yet people here STILL insist on having the banks of fluorescants on all day long. They're all (most of them) 50+ years old and they just can't fathom why anyone /wouldn't want/ the artificial lights on all the time. When I try to explain it to them, they sit there with the best befuddled expression they can manage with their squinted, crow's feet covered eyes and thick glasses.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 20th, 2006
I agree that flourescent lights are hellish. Especially when you can see the flicker. Apparently not everyone can -- its a gift.

I much prefer indirect lighting -- all the lights in my home office are aimed at the ceiling. The ceiling is white and reflects the light. It is much easier on my eyes. In the (work) office all of the lighting is also indirect but they use flourescents to bounce of the ceiling. The flicker is not as noticable this way but it is still there. Fortunately I am near a window that lets in natural light as well so I only really notice in the winter when the sun goes down so damn early.
Permalink O Canader 
January 20th, 2006
I use CF in a lot of my home in order to save energy costs, but it's in the basement, and in the dining room and kitchen.

In the living room I have incandescants with frosted globes mounted on the wall. Much more even, closer to natural light. It makes the room seem very warm, and the effect is only enhanced by the log walls and rough timber ceiling. :) You're surrounded by a sort of honey glow in that room, complete with knotholes all over the place. Incredibly relaxing.
Permalink Generic Error 
January 20th, 2006
> its a gift

In the German sense of the word, I guess you mean: http://dict.leo.org/se?lp=ende&p=/Ue0E.&search=Gift
Permalink  
January 20th, 2006
I use a daylight bulb and with the yellow walls the dullest day is reasonable.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 20th, 2006
I've mounted a white USB-powered cold-cathode light to the back of my monitor; it shines a fairly diffuse light against the wall which seems to reduce eyestrain significantly -- it's not bright enough to be distracting, but it provides enough light that I'm not staring at a bright object against a completely dark backdrop.
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 20th, 2006
That sounds neat Mat, got a link to buy one?
Permalink Phil 
January 20th, 2006
The opposite, I find the eye strain to much. I've actually got two settings on the monitor, one for day, and a lower contrast one for night.
Permalink el 
January 20th, 2006
It was something very similar to this that I picked up in a department store:

http://www.mitron.com.tw/product_photo.asp?Cat=44&Subcat=225&id=1701

I dismantled the armature and fashioned a sort of frame affair for it so that it actually hangs from the monitor stand, but I guess you could just stand it behind the monitor and it'd work just as well.
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 20th, 2006
(I got the idea from those Philips TVs that have "mood lights" on them.)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 20th, 2006
Here in our office all of us software people and engineers have stopped using the overhead florescent lights and instead have incandescent pole lamps.
Permalink captain damage 
January 20th, 2006
I have this horrible image of the developers pole lamp dancing...
Permalink  
January 20th, 2006
"Truthfully though, after a few hours of that my eyes begin to hurt much more than they would if I had the lights on, but that might have more to do with my four-year-old glasses."

Partially you glasses (just the fact that you HAVE them)

Just like a pin-hole camera doesn't need a lens to focus, when there is lots of light in your environment your eye doesn't need to work very hard to focus on the screen. When you work in the dark, you eyes dialate and your lens must flex more to focus. That can give anybody eye strain, but the fact that you need glasses tells us that your eye doesn't do so well anyway and working in the dark is just that much harder.

(That is also why they do eye exams in the dark, your eyes have to work harder, so it is easier to tell what a lens is doing for you)
Permalink Steamrolla 
January 20th, 2006
Compare the spectra of florescent and incandescent lights. The latter waste energy, but they're easier on the eyes so the best solution is an anglepoise type desklamp and a few uplighters here and there to avoid tripping over office potplants.
Permalink trollop 
January 20th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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