You are thinking – I can use any lamp for reading. Yes, basically you can, but it would be nice to have some lamp only for that occasion. And even if it would seem weird to the majority, some lamps are better than others for specific tasks. There are many types of lamps: floor lamp, chandelier, lamp for kids, kitchen lamp, desk lamp, etc. But there are even more types of light bulbs for them. Each one offers its own kind of light, with different intensity and brightness.
So, we can conclude that different lamps in combination with given light can’t be used for every task and see which kind of lamp and light bulb is best for reading and how much light is enough so your eyes can enjoy and in the same time not get tired. Imagine a nice, cozy corner in your house, just for that purpose. With a nice armchair or couch for relaxing moments when you delve into your favorite novel. A small table, maybe with drawers, only for books. On top of it, you can put your coffee or cup of your favorite tea. And nothing less important – a perfect light source which will illuminate the room or just that personal space of yours, where you are occupied with your favorite book. But when you start reading, and it became darker, you will realize the real purpose and value of the reading lamp. It’s enough to turn on the switch and continue. But you need to know what makes a good reading lamp.
The lamp will directly focus a ray of light in your book, and your eyes will not get tired unless you picked the wrong light for that lamp. Just as it’s essential to have a lamp concentrating light onto your book, it’s also important to couple this with comfortable, evenly distributed lighting throughout your room. A common mistake people make when choosing a light for reading is turning on a bright lamp in a dark room. Your eye pupils dilate from the dark when they wander off the page, which can make your eyes easily fatigued – a reason many of us quickly become tired when reading in bed at night. It’s also helpful to avoid reading by a light that reflects a lot of bright glare, such as from a computer screen. The constant shifting of pixels from reading off a computer or any other screen can put a lot of strain on your eyes. Avoid reading from a laptop whenever possible during your leisure time or at least dim your screen to lessen the glare. Reversing the color scheme such as white text on a black background also mitigates eye strain.
Choosing perfect light, it can be a pretty delicate task. You must have at least basic knowledge if you want to come back home with the right solution. Many factors can influence on a final choice. The best color light for reading at night is a warm tone or yellow color light. To be exact, it should be below 3000k on the color temperature scale. Such light will be less stressful for your eyes. Plus, it will not disturb your sleep. As brightness is measured in lumens, the following will help you choose the right lamp with the wattage that you need. 40 Watts, look for at least 450 lumens, 60W look for at least 450lm, 75 looks for at least 1100, and 100w look for at least 1600lm. You only need 25 to 50 lumens per square meter on the surface of your book to read without eye strain. More precisely, you need 25-50 lux of illuminance. The difference is huge if you didn’t know. It means those lumens of light should be focused on your reading area. Otherwise, you might have 500 lumens producing bulb in your room, but still not getting the required illuminance/brightness on your book surface. Too fully answer how many lumens of light is required for reading, you need to understand the difference between the lumens and how they relate to the brightness/illuminance.
Lumens are the total amount of light coming from the source, but it’s not the measure of the brightness of your book. Brightness or illuminance is the number of lumens of light on a surface area of one square meter. It is measured in lux and depends on how much focused that light is and how near it is to your book. For example, there can be a light bulb on your wall, producing a lot of lumens while your reading area is still not bright enough. That’s because it is designed to illuminate a large area.
On the contrary, you can have a tiny clip-on book, a light that can feel very bright but produces a few lumens only. This one is designed to focus all the light in one direction and lighten up that area efficiently. It is most important when you are reading in bed. Book /reading lamps and torch lights are examples of these kinds of light.
As we said, you only need 25-50 lm/m2 focused rightly onto your book to be able to read comfortably. If you have that in mind, 200 lumens per square feet will be dimmer, but still not too dim to cause problem while reading, but if this question comes when you are looking to buy a light for a room, you can divide the lumens of that light over the room area to get this number. If that is the case, then the answer is – you can’t guarantee that there will be 25 lumens per meter square that will be coming to your book. There might be reflections and shadows which decrease or disperse the light coming onto you and your book. So, in this case, 200 lumens are not enough. I hope you get the point. So not only are lumens that the light source produces important in determining how bright your reading corner will be but and how much focused that lumens are and how close the source of light is to your book. But all in all, when considering the right light for your eyes, remember: your eyes will tell you what they want. If the light isn’t comfortable, they show signs of fatigue, like burning, redness, and brow-ache.