Of late, a number of clients have requested help with light sensitivity issues of employees working in an office based. Several of these requests have come from clients operating in WELL certified buildings, which require 5% of the area of all regularly occupied spaces to be within 7.5 m of view windows. For occupants with Light sensitivities and photophobia this poses a problem. 

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, can significantly affect employees’ ability to perform effectively. It is our experience that the stark comparison between lighting provided in the home (often warmer in tone, and controlled by the individual) versus lighting provided at the office (brighter, bluer and more natural light that cannot be controlled by the individual altogether) is anecdotally giving rise to employee discomfort when in the office.   

The nature of issues we are seeing from office occupants with lighting sensitivities exposed to office light levels are: 

  • Visual strain 
  • Headaches (or forehead pain) and greater presentation (increased frequency and intensity of migraines amongst those who suffer from them).  
  • Aversion to light 
  • Pain or discomfort in the eyes when looking at light 
  • Squinting or wanting to shut your eyes 
  • Teary eyes 
  • Dry eyes 

We have researched ways in which employers might assist in the creation of areas in an office floor which are less likely to give rise to photophobic/ photosensitive users. The