How to Avoid Glare Through Lighting Design

CMI lighting lighting design

The side effects of glare caused by lighting can cause serious health issues.

When designing a lighting system for commercial and industrial settings, one of the biggest challenges is minimizing glare. Glare is an unavoidable consequence of lighting, but the decisions made during the design process can unintentionally make glare stronger and more of a problem. The effects of glare are easy to understand – potential health and safety hazards can arise from it. Knowing how to reduce it through good lighting decisions can help your company stay safe and productive all year long. Here are some concepts to consider during the lighting design process.

Use Layered Lighting with Purpose

Every great interior designer knows that the best way to handle lighting a space is through intentioned usage of layered lighting. Task lights illuminate specific work areas, accent lights highlight areas of a room that should draw the eye of an observer, and ambient lighting illuminates the entire room. By layering these lights with purpose, it creates an ideal situation where the potential for glare is reduced. Although each layer has its own use, combining them creates a harmonious whole. Start by focusing on task lighting first, as this is arguably the most important layer to get right for the productivity of your business.

Avoid Using Downlighting Too Much

Downlights are fairly popular as a simple way to illuminate a commercial or industrial space. However, their simplicity comes with a cost – their main purpose is to light up a floor, which is usually not high on the priority list of areas to light. Downlights are not optimal for task lighting purposes since they tend to cast shadows and contribute glare to the worker using them. And they are also not well-suited to serving as ambient lighting in general. Focus on providing better task lighting, then utilize indirect lighting sources to raise ambient lighting in the space.

Don’t Forget to Use Light Shields

Glare is tough to manage if you’re simply looking at the light produced in your space. Don’t neglect the role that lighting designing can play in lighting shielding and reducing glare either! For artificial lighting, consider how lenses, shades, louvers, and other devices can prevent light from shining directly into the eyes of your employees. For natural lighting, window shades or curtains are perfect solutions that can help you reduce the amount of ambient lighting coming in from the windows.


With over 35 years in the industry, CMI has an array of equipment to handle the logistics of any in-house job. We also frequently provide solutions to property managers and upcoming developments. CMI Companies provides services in Mid-Atlantic Region and proudly serves clients in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Richmond, Southern Virginia, Manassas, Prince William County, Fairfax County, Rockville, and Prince George’s County. Also, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2022 at 1:57 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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