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According to some websites, lighting for computer work should not produce a glare on the screen or originate from a window behind the screen.

But then, where should I keep it? Behind me / pointing towards desk on the right hand side of screen ?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looks like a cube. If you have side walls, try facing the light towards them and have the light reflect off them. This produces a more balanced light distribution

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Thanks. Yes, it's a cube. With one side-wall on the right (on the left there is aisle). But the wall is little bit away from laptop (~ 2.5 Feet). Concentrating light on the wall seems to work. But there is darkness behind laptop though (below the upper stand). – user13107 Oct 15 '12 at 8:22

Personally, I like to have a backlight behind the monitor itself. Takes eye strain off when the LCD isn't the only source of illumination.

In your situation; from what I can see, I would probably move the lamp directly behind the laptop and shine it straight down or at the back of the laptop itself. Indirect light and the brightness of the laptop screen is still diffused.

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  • Choose a low glare, asymmetric lens.
  • Choose an adjustable position task light and place it in a convenient position to light-colored documents without causing reflected glare in the computer screen.
  • Position your task light to the side of the computer screen so that the light shines on paper documents rather than the monitor screen.

The BSEE site recommends:

illuminance over the task area in any room where office work is carried out to be generally in the range 300 to 500 lux. Where the tasks are mainly screen based, such as data retrieval or telephone sales, then illuminances at the lower end of this range should be used.

UCLA recommend a range of measures including:

  • Use indirect lighting sources and task lights.
  • Position task lights to avoid shadows.
  • Aim the light at specific targets (source documents).
  • Reduce other brightness sources.
  • Use partitions to block lights from windows and other bright sources.
  • Tilt the monitor screen to avoid reflections. Positive tilts often reflect ceiling fixtures.
  • A visor placed over the screen or on the users head will reduce glare from overhead lighting sources.
  • Sit at right angles to windows and at least 3 feet away from the window.
  • Avoid positioning worker directly in front of or in back of overhead lights. (The operator should not have a light source or fixture within direct visual field when looking at the monitor screen.)
  • A good quality anti-glare screen can be very effective in reducing visual discomfort and reducing awkward neck, shoulder and back postures used to avoid the glare.
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Like @wom, I have back-lights behind my 24" monitor, which light is reflected by the wall behind the monitor. This monitor is the secondary screen for my laptop; the backlight reflection produces indirect dim lighting to comfortably view both my laptop screen and larger monitor, and even my keyboard.

The back-lights are IKEA LED strips, stuck to (only) the back of the 24" monitor.

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