Glare is purely subjective; what you may find glaring some people may find unbearable and others may describe the same conditions as sparkling. Glare cannot be quantified or measured with a meter.

The essence of glare is too much contrast. Contrast is the difference between surface or light sources of different “objective brightness”. Consider a car headlight; at night, it seems very bright, sometimes glaring. By day, the same headlight appears much less bright. Obviously, the headlight has not changed. What remains constant is the headlight’s luminance or “objective brightness”. The difference between the day and night situation is that the background luminance changes. If there is too great a difference in luminance the effect is called glare.

It is considered that there are two types of glare: disablement and discomfort. Disablement actually reduces your ability to see. A glaring headlight physically prevents you from seeing detail in the darkness beyond. Discomfort glare is just what it is sounds like. Over prolonged periods it leads to eyestrain, fatigue, and headaches. Discomfort glare is the type of glare, which may have the greatest effect in office environments.

In the office environment, glare comes from two main sources. The first source is the light fixtures used in the office and their layout and orientations in relation to the personnel and VDT’s. The second source of office glare is sometimes known as sky glare and is caused by too great of a contrast between the window and the surrounding walls.

Discomfort glare from windows can be greatly improved by applying window film and or fitting internal or external blinds. These solutions should be matched to the building characteristics and are best specified with professional assistance. Disablement glare is best handled with translucent window films, dark blinds, or shutters.

While window film is a useful tool in controlling glare in offices, homes, restaurants, and nearly everywhere with windows, it is particularly important that the entire environment is reviewed from the most effective glare reduction program. Your Solar Tint representative can help with this analysis.