When you are choosing a book light (table lamp), the most important thing to take into account is whether it can help to keep the eyesight of your child healthy.
Other significant factors are its safety and ergonomics. The overall design and decorative elements are a secondary factor, especially if we are talking about a book light for a school student.
If you already know how to choose lights, you can skip to the overview of the best book lights.
A lamp shade: what kind do you need?
The shape and color of the lamp shade must adhere to the following guidelines:
- The light should not be dazzling because it causes discomfort.
- The bright design should not interfere with the process of doing homework.
- The light should spread evenly throughout the surface of the work zone.
To satisfy all three requirements, the lamp shade should have a shape of a cone or trapezium, be of obscure color and it should cover the light bulb completely.
Ophthalmologists consider “green” the best color for visual perception. It helps a ciliary muscle of the eye to relax, which has a positive effect on overall well-being of a child. Red or orange colors of lamp shades, on the contrary, are not recommended for children: these colors excite nervous system and interfere with concentration.
Selecting a table lamp according to the type of the light bulb
Incandescent light bulbs are considered old-fashioned today. Ophthalmologists and teachers do not recommend using them for lighting a child’s workspace. They flicker and get heated when the light is on.
Flickering is damaging to the eyes and overall health, while heating creates environment for potential burns if a child touches hot glass. We must also mention that incandescent light bulbs have color rendering index (CRI) of over 90%.
CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) are not the best choice for a children's table lamp either. They contain mercury; if the bulb breaks, the child might get poisoned by inhaling dangerous metal vapors. In addition, the pulsation ratio of CFL is very high, so a child quickly gets tired when he does homework. And the color rendering index (CRI) of the CFL, as a rule, is less than 70-80%.
The experts admit that LED light bulbs for schoolchildren are the safest and most effective. The light bulbs, provided they are of high quality:
- do not pulsate;
- do not crack;
- have a good color rendering index - more than 80%, which allows for rendition of all shades of illuminated objects;
- produce light that is pleasant to the eye.
If a child accidentally touches a working LED-light bulb, he will not burn himself because the temperature of heating is minimal.
Light bulbs: wattage
For schoolchildren ophthalmologists recommend 60-Watt light bulbs for table lamps. They illuminate the surface evenly and won’t dazzle a child. LED light bulbs, by all means, should be less powerful: 8 Watts is enough to create similar lighting. But different light bulbs with the same amount of Watt can emit a different amount of light: by 30-40%.
Shades of light in light bulbs
The color of lighting also affects comfort when using a book light, it is especially important for a school student. Ophthalmologists recommend warm white light for children's rooms and warn about dangers of the “cold” light with bluish shade for retina of child's eyes.
Information about the color of the light of the LED light bulb is usually indicated on the package. You will also find the exact value of the color temperature that is measured in degrees of Kelvin. The higher the number, the more unnatural the artificial light looks. Ideal values are between 2700 and 3000 K.
What else should we pay attention to?
When you are about to purchase a book light, it is important to make a decision on its constructive features. To illuminate the workspace of the student, it is not advised that you use a book light with a rigid, short stand. There are popular book lights with a flexible folding “leg” of medium height. But the most ergonomic ones are the ones on a long stand, and the angle is adjustable. Such book lights are easily regulated for drawing, writing and other creative activities.
Another important property of a book light for a student is balance. The base should be heavy enough or must screw to the table; in this case the lamp will not fall or create a traumatic situation for a child. Pay attention to the kind of texture of the surface of the base. Gloss glares, so for students we recommend lamps with a matte base.
You might have noticed table lamps with maintenance-free light-emitting elements that have emerged recently on store shelves. Low-quality lamps of this type contain a light diffuser that cannot create an even luminous flux. It creates bright dots on the light diffuser panel. It does not happen in high-quality table lamps.
Another tip from ophthalmologists
Even the best, properly tested book light cannot replace basic lighting. For reading, writing or drawing, basic light is a must, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be very bright. When the lighting in the child’s room is combined, the child’s eyes do not get tired as much in the process of doing homework or any other activities.
Published by Calida Jenkins