Why Does Glare Matter?

Glare is a visual sensation caused by excessive and uncontrolled brightness. The effects of glare can range from being unnoticeable to being highly disabling and uncomfortable. Glare from a light fixture is referred to as discomfort glare, which triggers the intrinsic desire to look away from the light source, or disability glare, which causes discomfort and impairs the vision of surrounding area and objects. The most common cause of glare is a light fitting mounted directly in line with someone’s workstation.

Since the rise of LED luminaires, glare has become more of an issue. Glare is most commonly associated with people working at computers, but this is not the case. Glare can be a problem for anyone that needs to focus on a task, be it an industrial process or an activity in the retail and leisure sectors. A bright light that hinders your work, is of course an issue.

The responsibility falls on light designers and manufacturers to ensure luminaries allow optimum function and meet the needs of their location. With the increase of LED luminaires, and an increased need in high brightness, the number of cases of glare has also increased especially for those working within commercial space.

The solution to the glare factor that the light industry has developed is the unified glare rating (UGR). This calculation determines the ‘brightness’ of a luminaire in a given setting.  The complex equation uses the luminance value of the luminaire, the value of the background luminance, the viewing angle from viewer to luminaire and the ‘Guth Index’ which is the visual comfort probability.

UGR compliance is essentially a legal requirement. The lighting design criteria developed by the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) requires lighting to be ‘suitable and sufficient’ which is referenced in the UK health and safety regulations.

Using a reputable lighting supplier is always advisable to ensure the compatibility of products and that your lighting conforms to the required British Standards.

Ringtail is a leading UK manufacturer, designer and supplier of professional LED emergency and amenity lighting equipment. This year they are celebrating their 20th year in business, confirming their role as UK market leaders in their industry.  Ringtail is committed to quality and innovation and uses cutting edge technology to develop creative emergency lighting solutions, designed to the latest lighting industry standards.

Ringtail is unique in their ability to offer effective and bespoke products which meet their customers’ specific design criteria. All their products are LED, with energy conservation always a top priority. All products come with a 3-year warranty as standard, and many products with a 5-year warranty.

For more information about Ringtail’s products and services contact us here.