Large Area Glare Sources and Their Effect on Discomfort and Visual Performance at Computer Workstations

TitleLarge Area Glare Sources and Their Effect on Discomfort and Visual Performance at Computer Workstations
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsWerner K.E. Osterhaus, Ian L. Bailey
Conference Name1992 IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting
Date Published10/1992
Conference LocationHouston, TX
Call NumberLBL-35037

This paper studies the effects of a large area light source of variable but uniform luminance surrounding a video display terminal (VDT) on the perceived glare discomfort and visual performance of computer operators. A set of criteria was established for rating the discomfort from glare as either intolerable, disturbing, noticeable, or imperceptible. Source luminance adjustments by means of a variable transformer to match the subjective glare criteria, as well as ratings of preselected lighting conditions on a visual analog scale with the same criteria, were used to determine comfortable lighting conditions. Results from the experiment indicate that subjects reliably selected a preferred lighting condition at any time when asked to adjust the luminance to produce optimum visual comfort. There was considerable between-subject variation in the range of luminances over which the surround field was neither noticeably too dim nor noticeably too bright. Comfortable luminance ranges also varied with initial presentation luminances immediately preceding the adjustment. Subjects preferred higher luminances following high initial presentation luminances. Performance speed at a difficult letter-counting task suggests that visual performance was slightly impaired by the presence of glare discomfort. Counting errors also occurred slightly more frequently under higher surround source luminances. There was a tendency for subjects to become more susceptible to glare over the course of the experiment.

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