Rules for Viewing Text

(Adjusting for Brightness)


You must Control Brightness both in the background around your screen, and on your screen relative to your background, or you will simply fall asleep. The faster you read, the more careful you have to be that the brightness is set right for the time of day and the reading environment. Adjustments for brightness have to be made during the day.

If the overall brightness in the room is too high, or if the brightness on the screen is too high relative to the rest of the room, you will just fall asleep as you read quickly. One bright light in a room is all it takes to fall asleep when you speed up your reading.

It is the peripheral light that sets the size of the opening in the iris, not the screen brightness. The screen brightness must adjust to and roughly match the peripheral environment. Any sharp contrast in brightness levels between the two will just cause you to fall asleep when you try to read fast. This relative brightness of the screen and room is just as important as not having any super bright area in the room.

Here are the basic rules:

  1. 1.Never read in the morning in a room with an unshaded window facing East.

  2. 2.Never read in the afternoon in a room with an unshaded window facing West.

  3. 3.Never read against a bright window. At least have a foam pad or screen just behind the iPad, etc. Alternatively, always face a blank wall.

  4. 4.If you can not do these things, you can always use a dark sheet over both your head and screen, or use glacier sunglasses (without polarization).

  5. 5.At night, never have a bright light within eyesight. Bright lights should be shielded and bounce off the ceiling. This way you never see brightness.

  6. 6.The later it gets in the night, the more you have to lower the background brightness of the text. This is because the iris opens up first with incandescent light, which is much lower intensity than daylight, and secondly with darkness in the room (when you are reading in bed with the lights off). If the screen is too bright relative to a dark room, you will just fall asleep.

  7. 7.During the daylight hours, the screen brightness needs to be higher than at night. This is because the iris has shut down more because of the higher peripheral light in the room.

© Proportional Reading, 2012