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How many Lumens to Read?

The kind of light that you use for reading can have a tremendous effect on how your eyes are affected. You would not want to go long hours reading under a blue light and that is why having a basic understanding of what Lumens are can be of great help to you.

To really determine the right amount of Lumens that you may need for reading, you will first have to know what Lumens are and why they are important. 

What are Lumens?

Lumens are the total light output of the source. Lumens is a new way of knowing how bright a lamp is. Brighter Lamps have more Lumens in them. Lumens have become more popular in recent times instead of Watts because LED lamps produce the same light using up to 85% less energy (Watts).

How many Lumens is required to read?

Choosing the right amount of Lumens to read is important because it will determine the overall health of your eyes. You also have to keep in mind that your age can affect the number of lumens you will need to read. As you get older you will require a higher number of lumens to read. A condition called macular degeneration where you require magnifying lens lamp to read or do even the basic activities.

You can refer to the example below to see the amount of Lumens and their watt equivalent. For more detail, you can visit this link that gives a detailed guide on watts and lumens.

40 Watts450 Lumens
60 Watts800 Lumens
75 Watts1,100 Lumens
100 Watts1,600 Lumens 

That being said, the most optimum number of Lumens you will need to read is at least 450 Lumens. A desk Light with 450 Lumens can be enough for you to read, anything less than that can be considered dim and will probably cause your eyes to strain. In come cases, choosing a floop lamp for reading might be ideal looking as the many factors which will benefit you.

Types of Lighting 

The Importance of Lighting in terms of reading. Light plays a very crucial role when it comes to reading, let’s take a look at what happens when you read in different types of lighting.

What happens when you read in a dimly lit area?

Reading In Dimly Lit Area

It has been a known fact that you should always avoid reading or studying in an area with dim lights, poorly lit places are the worst places to read in. Reasons to not read in dim lighting are :

  • Dim Lighting can cause serious strain in your eyes. poor lighting will lead your eyes to overwork resulting in weak vision. Too much strain on your eyes can further lead to headaches, blurred vision, and an increase in the sensitivity to light.
  • Spending long hours reading in dim light is proven to affect your memory performance and learning abilities.  
  • Dim Lights normally tend to calm the brain which will eventually lead to difficulty in focusing on things. 

What happens when you read in a Brightly lit Area?

Reading In Brightly Lit Area

A brightly lit area is one of the best places to read and or study, the reasons why they can be the best choice to read in are :

  1. Less Eye Strain

Your eyes will thank you for choosing to study in a brightly lit area, this is so because a bright lit area will not strain out your eyes and you can go long hours without hurting them 

  1. Increased Learning Efficiency

A brightly lit area will help you keep a longer attention span because the cool appearance of the bright lights is known to help you focus. Your memory retaining power is better and your learning efficiency increases.

Different Colors of Light

Different colors of light

Choosing the right kind of color for your light can also affect your learning capabilities. There are mainly three types of light that you can choose from while studying but only two of them are really optimum for you, let’s first look at the different colors that they emit.

Yellow Lights – Yellow Lights are lights that emit a yellowish tone, they have fewer lumens in them and aren’t really good when reading, the yellow lights have a calming effect on your brain and it will be rather difficult to read or study in the presence of yellow light.

White Lights – White Lights are bright and have a somewhat day-like appearance, it is known to be the best kind of light when reading or studying because you are likely to feel more awake and attentive under these lights.

Blue Lights – Blue Lights are actually a variant of white lights, they are much brighter and appear bluish, these lights can feel clinical and are the worst kinds of lights for studying or reading. Blue Lights can affect your eyes by causing too much strain and affect your sleep.


Choosing the right lighting for you will affect how your health will be. White Lights that have around 450 Lumens will be your best bet in terms of reading. You need to also remember that lights that have high lumens, can also adversely affect your eyes because they are too bright for you.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to you. Your eyes will naturally tell you if it’s too bright or dim for you. If you do not feel comfortable around a certain kind of light, you should maybe consider opting for a different kind of light. This way, you will be much healthier and efficient down the line.

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