Natural and artificial lighting: Influence on readability

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Sílvia EspadaAna TeixeiraMaria AntunesSonia Brito-Costa

Abstract: In the study we present, the effects of different types of light (natural or artificial), different types of texts (scientific and children's) and different reading formats (on screen and on paper) on our readability are addressed, as well as determining the preference of each participant for reading tasks and to what extent reading with natural light and with influences of artificial light affects their readability in design, and how the reading process could be done more effectively, through manipulation of lighting variables. The experiments were based on different tasks, which required 10 participants, to read two different texts (children's text and scientific text), in two different formats (print and screen) under two different types of lighting (natural light and artificial light). During reading, we recorded the following parameters: Heart rate and EEG signal (levels of calm, neutral and active (%) using two devices: a heart rate monitor to measure heart rate and Muse, a brain detection headband that uses real-time biofeedback in its brain activity, which we used to monitor brain activity. After completing the protocol, participants answered a questionnaire to collect data on their reading preferences and were composed of three parts: the first part consisted of questions aimed at collecting demographic information from the participants (age, nationality, and other useful data for our research); the second part addressed three questions about the participants reading preferences; the third part was designed to explore the participants opinions about the test and their comfortability. We conclude that participants prefer reading on paper rather than on screen and their performance was better in reading with artificial light. Although reading with natural light was the preference of most participants, reading with artificial light provides better performance in performing the tasks. These findings could help designers to better understand the roles of lighting variables in the reading process and to create light design products that are more efficient, sustainable, and comfortable.

Keywords: Design, Natural light, Artificial light, Readability

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003538

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