[CQ-Contest] Eye Strain

Barry Kirkwood bjk at ihug.co.nz
Sat Jun 30 12:36:52 EDT 2001

Interesting topic:
There is no simple answer and authorities do not agree.
The classic rule of thumb distinguishes between local (task) lighting and
general lighting of a space.
In the case of radio operating the situation is complicated because back lit
dials and computer screens are involved as well as needing task lighting for
All of these have different lighting standards.
Also remember that bright lighting helps you stay awake, and vice versa.
The idea of changing the lighting during a long operating session has merit,
although I don't think there is much science on this point.
I would suggest ramping the light up as you get tired.
There is also evidence that taking a "long view" every so often helps reduce
fatigue. Time out looking at the sky or the scenery might help.

Barry Kirkwood PhD ZL1DD
Signal Hill Homestay
66 Cory Road
Palm Beach
Waiheke Island 1240
----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Coleman <aa4lr at arrl.net>
To: Jay Pryor <jpryor at arches.uga.edu>; CQ-Contest
<cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Saturday, 30 June, 2001 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Eye Strain

> On 6/29/01 8:20 AM, Jay Pryor at jpryor at arches.uga.edu wrote:
> >The discussion about bifocals/trifocals has been interesting because I am
> >in that group, but I am curious about what other contesters do regarding
> >lighting in the shack.  Are bright lights easier on the eyes over the
> >haul, or dim room lights so that most light comes from the radio(s)?  Is
> >this one of those things that varies from one person to another?
> Jay,
> For many years now, I've had two lights in the shack. The shack has room
> lighting. In the old QTH, this was two sets of 4-way incandescent bulbs.
> Initially, it was VERY bright for such a small room (5' x 14'). I
> gradually lowered the wattage of the replacement bulbs to something more
> reasonable.
> At the present QTH, the shack is a bit bigger (6' x 18'), and I have
> three dual 20W florescent fixtures. Not quite enough light, IMHO.
> In addition to the room lighting, I have a 40 watt high-intensity light
> that I've had for years and years. It lights the operating desk and the
> equipment.
> Sometimes, especially late at night, I'll turn off the room lights and
> operate solely by the high-intensity. I find that more comfortable and
> less eye-straining.
> I find that varying the amount of lighting helps to keep one alert with
> less strain.
> Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr at arrl.net
> Quote: "Not within a thousand years will man ever fly!"
>             -- Wilbur Wright, 1901
> --
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