Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

55. Illumination Standards for Effective and Comfortable Vision*

Miles A. Tinker

DURING THE LAST few years a lighting consciousness has been forced upon most of those who perform visual tasks and upon those who control the environments in which visual work is performed. This lighting consciousness has resulted from information derived from many sources. Among these are the popular articles in newspapers and magazines by authors who have interviewed "lighting experts," reports written by educators and medical men for journals in their own fields, and the better light-better sight publicity. The more fundamental information, however, has appeared as experimental reports in the scientific publications. The result is a keen interest in illumination and a sincere desire on the part of the public for sound information concerning hygienic lighting. Consequently, the consulting psychologist will frequently be called upon to furnish advice on proper illumination.

It is obvious that specifications for hygienic lighting should be based upon experimental findings that have been adequately interpreted. The purpose of this paper is to summarize in a critical manner the results of illumination experiments that are pertinent to the needs of the consulting psychologist.

Lighting should be prescribed by impartial persons who have a competent knowledge of hygienic illumination. Available recommended standards1 are satisfactory in some respects but unreliable in others. Suggestions concerning quality (color) and distribution of light are adequate. Recommendations for the light intensities needed for specific visual tasks, however, are based largely upon misinterpreted data and consequently are not valid. Proof of this will be cited below.

Surveys reveal inadequate illumination in a large majority of homes, offices, schools and factories. Frequently the lighting is either too dim or

____________________
*
From Journal of Consulting Psychology, Vol. 3, 1939, pp. 11-20.
1
American Recommended Practice of School Lighting, prepared under joint sponsorship of Illuminating Engineering Society and American Institute of Architects, Washington, 1938; M. Luckiesh and F. K. Moss, The New Science of Seeing ( Cleveland: General Electric Co., 1934); M. Luckiesh and F. K. Moss, The Science of Seeing ( New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1937); Recommended Standards of Illumination ( Cleveland: General Electric Co., 1934).

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