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Desk lighting for homework station

A well lit homework area

Make it easier on your child's eyes by providing a well-lit and glare-free homework station. Prices for student desk lamps range from $10 to $50. Popular choices include gooseneck, dual head, banker's light, swing arm and adjustable desk lamps.

If your homework station includes a hutch unit, a 24″ fluorescent strip light can also work well. Clip-on lights can go where a desk lamp doesn't fit, and save space on a crowded desk. Some clip-on fixtures can even be clamped to shelves for additional lighting. Make sure this type of task lighting can fasten securely to a surface before you buy it.

If your child works on a computer, room lighting should be low, with a desk lamp to illuminate books and other reference material. Adjust screen brightness to a comfortable level. Black characters on a white screen are easiest on a child's eyes according to the American Optometric Association.

The AOA also recommends the computer screen be placed four to nine inches below eye level. Try to avoid reflections on the screen with proper placement of desk lamps and by reducing the light or glare from windows with shades or curtains.

Light it right

Good lighting for your child's homework area also depends on the type of bulb or tube you select. The basic types of light sources are fluorescent, incandescent and halogen.

  • Flourescent
    Flourescent lights are cool to the touch, minimize glare or shadows, reduce lighting costs and last up to 10 times longer than other light bulbs. Today's fluorescent bulbs are available in a wide spectrum of colors that eliminate the harsh blue or green tint that earlier lights gave off.
  • Incandescent
    Incandescent bulbs are probably the most common type of lighting in your home. While having a warm quality, they can create glare and shadows. They cost less than other light bulbs and replacement bulbs are easy to find. Incandescent bulbs are also the least energy efficient light source.
  • Halogen
    Halogen lights are NOT recommended for a child's study area because of the extreme heat they generate. Kids can be burned if they touch a hot halogen bulb. While the white light is ideal for reading, halogen lighting is not a good choice for a child's study area.

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