Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation of the level of illumination intensity to performance and fatigue in visual work. The question of illumination requirements is of considerable importance from the point of view of physiological optics, industrial physiology, and public health. Yet a large part of the research done in the past leaves much to be desired in regard to general approach and specific testing techniques as well as experimental analysis and statistical evaluation. In the present series six illumination levels (2, 5, 15, 50, 100, and 300 footcandles) were studied in repeated experiments in six normal subjects. The work task involved recognition of fine details (letters) and reproduced the essential features of a conveyor inspection operation. In addition to the studying of various criteria of work performance and their change in the course of 2 hours of work, a large battery of visual tests was applied before and after the work so as to characterize the degree of fatigue. Varied illumination affected the performance more than the functional criteria of fatigue. Only one function, the recognition time for stimuli of threshold size, showed a decreasing degree of fatigue up to 300 ft.-c, all other variables, including performance, which changed with a changing level of illumination showed an optimum at 100 ft.-c. The demonstration of an optimum level of illumination makes highly questionable the current practice of recommending “minimum” levels of illumination for industrial jobs, since deterioration of performance and increase in fatigue may result when the optimal level is exceeded. The <i>optimum</i> of 100 ft.-c for the present strenuous visual task is at or below the <i>minimum</i> which should be recommended on the basis of the code of the Illuminating Engineering Society.

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  1. "American recommended practice of industrial lighting," Illuminating Engineering Society (1942).
  2. J. S. Rogers, Illumination. In "Protecting Plant Manpower," pp. 63–66, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, 1941.
  3. A. D. Brandt and H. E. Seifert, "Illumination, noise and radiant energy," Manual of Industrial Hygiene (W. M. Gafafer) (W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1943), pp. 353–372
  4. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the textile industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 247 (1937).
  5. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the shoe manufacturing company," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 289 (1937).
  6. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Progress report on the lighting in the printing industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 31, 277 (1936).
  7. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the candy manufacturing industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 483 (1937).
  8. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Studies in lighting of intricate production, assembly and inspection processes," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 1019 (1937).
  9. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting for silk and rayon throwing and wide goods weaving," Trans. Ilium. Eng. Soc. 33, 17 (1938).
  10. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting for the machining of small metal parts," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 34, 21 (1939).
  11. Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting of power presses," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 34, 153 (1939).
  12. M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, Te Science of Seeing (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1938), p. 548.
  13. J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).
  14. H. C. Weston, "The relation between illumination and industrial efficiency: I. The effect of the size of work." Joint Rep. Industr. Health Res. Board and Illum. Res. Comm. (London) (1935).
  15. F. N. Freeman, "An investigation of the illumination requirements of school buildings," National Education Association: Report of Committee on School House Planning, 90 (1925).
  16. H. J. Ströer, "Rationalisierung der Arbeitsplatzbeleuchtung," Industr. Psychotechnik 3, 289 (1926).
  17. J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "Quantitative analysis of voluntary eye movements," (to be published).
  18. J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).
  19. J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and H. Alexander, "Statistical comparison of changes in fitness characteristics," (in press).M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).
  20. M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).
  21. E. Simonson, "L'adaptation au travail physique," Le Travail Hunmain 4, 129 (1936).
  22. M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, "Fatigue of convergence induced by reading as a function of illumination intensity," Am. J. Ophthal. 18, 319 (1935).
  23. H. Schulz, "Die Ermüldung des Auges," Industr. Psychotechnik 2, 5 (1925).
  24. C. E. Ferree and G. Rand, "The efficiency of the eye under different conditions of lighting: the effect of varying the distribution factors and intensity," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 10, 407 (1915).
  25. M. A. Tinker, "Illumination standards," Am. J. Pub. Health 36, 963 (1946).
  26. T. A. Ryan, "Work and effort: the psychology of efficiency," (in press).
  27. L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).
  28. A. C. Hoffman, "Luckiesh and Moss on reading illumination," J. App. Psychol. 31, 44 (1947).
  29. C. A. Oakley, Men at Work (University of London Press, London, 1946), p. 301.
  30. H. C. Weston and A. K. Taylor, "The relation between illumination and efficiency in fine work (typesetting by hand)," Joint Rep. Industr. Fatigue Res. Board and Ilium. Res. Comm., (London) (1926).
  31. C. E. Snow, "A discussion of the relation of illumination intensity to productive efficiency," Tech. Eng. News 8, 257 (1927).
  32. M. A. Tinker, "Validity of frequency of blinking as a criterion of readability," J. Exp. Psychol. 36, 453 (1937).
  33. R. A. McFarland, A. H. Holway, and L. M. Hurvich, "Studies of visual fatigue," Harvard Univ. Graduate School of Business Administration (1942).
  34. R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).
  35. M. E. Bitterman, "Heart rate and frequency of blinking as indices of visual efficiency," J. Exp. Psychol. 35, 279 (1945).

1947 (2)

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).

A. C. Hoffman, "Luckiesh and Moss on reading illumination," J. App. Psychol. 31, 44 (1947).

1946 (1)

M. A. Tinker, "Illumination standards," Am. J. Pub. Health 36, 963 (1946).

1945 (1)

M. E. Bitterman, "Heart rate and frequency of blinking as indices of visual efficiency," J. Exp. Psychol. 35, 279 (1945).

1941 (1)

M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

1939 (1)

R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).

1937 (1)

M. A. Tinker, "Validity of frequency of blinking as a criterion of readability," J. Exp. Psychol. 36, 453 (1937).

1936 (1)

E. Simonson, "L'adaptation au travail physique," Le Travail Hunmain 4, 129 (1936).

1935 (1)

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, "Fatigue of convergence induced by reading as a function of illumination intensity," Am. J. Ophthal. 18, 319 (1935).

1927 (1)

C. E. Snow, "A discussion of the relation of illumination intensity to productive efficiency," Tech. Eng. News 8, 257 (1927).

1926 (1)

H. J. Ströer, "Rationalisierung der Arbeitsplatzbeleuchtung," Industr. Psychotechnik 3, 289 (1926).

1925 (1)

H. Schulz, "Die Ermüldung des Auges," Industr. Psychotechnik 2, 5 (1925).

1915 (1)

C. E. Ferree and G. Rand, "The efficiency of the eye under different conditions of lighting: the effect of varying the distribution factors and intensity," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 10, 407 (1915).

Alexander, H.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and H. Alexander, "Statistical comparison of changes in fitness characteristics," (in press).M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

Berens, C.

R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).

Bitterman, M. E.

M. E. Bitterman, "Heart rate and frequency of blinking as indices of visual efficiency," J. Exp. Psychol. 35, 279 (1945).

Brandt, A. D.

A. D. Brandt and H. E. Seifert, "Illumination, noise and radiant energy," Manual of Industrial Hygiene (W. M. Gafafer) (W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1943), pp. 353–372

Britten, R. H.

L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).

Brozek, J.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "Quantitative analysis of voluntary eye movements," (to be published).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and H. Alexander, "Statistical comparison of changes in fitness characteristics," (in press).M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

Bushard, W. J.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).

Ferree, C. E.

C. E. Ferree and G. Rand, "The efficiency of the eye under different conditions of lighting: the effect of varying the distribution factors and intensity," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 10, 407 (1915).

Freeman, F. N.

F. N. Freeman, "An investigation of the illumination requirements of school buildings," National Education Association: Report of Committee on School House Planning, 90 (1925).

Hoffman, A. C.

A. C. Hoffman, "Luckiesh and Moss on reading illumination," J. App. Psychol. 31, 44 (1947).

Holway, A. H.

R. A. McFarland, A. H. Holway, and L. M. Hurvich, "Studies of visual fatigue," Harvard Univ. Graduate School of Business Administration (1942).

Hurvich, L. M.

R. A. McFarland, A. H. Holway, and L. M. Hurvich, "Studies of visual fatigue," Harvard Univ. Graduate School of Business Administration (1942).

Ives, J. H.

L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).

Keys, A.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "Quantitative analysis of voluntary eye movements," (to be published).

Knehr, C. A.

R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).

Luckiesh, M.

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, "Fatigue of convergence induced by reading as a function of illumination intensity," Am. J. Ophthal. 18, 319 (1935).

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, Te Science of Seeing (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1938), p. 548.

McFarland, R. A.

R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).

R. A. McFarland, A. H. Holway, and L. M. Hurvich, "Studies of visual fatigue," Harvard Univ. Graduate School of Business Administration (1942).

Moss, F. M.

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, "Fatigue of convergence induced by reading as a function of illumination intensity," Am. J. Ophthal. 18, 319 (1935).

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, Te Science of Seeing (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1938), p. 548.

Oakley, C. A.

C. A. Oakley, Men at Work (University of London Press, London, 1946), p. 301.

Peterson, J. H.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).

Rand, G.

C. E. Ferree and G. Rand, "The efficiency of the eye under different conditions of lighting: the effect of varying the distribution factors and intensity," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 10, 407 (1915).

Rogers, J. S.

J. S. Rogers, Illumination. In "Protecting Plant Manpower," pp. 63–66, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, 1941.

Ryan, T. A.

T. A. Ryan, "Work and effort: the psychology of efficiency," (in press).

Schulz, H.

H. Schulz, "Die Ermüldung des Auges," Industr. Psychotechnik 2, 5 (1925).

Seifert, H. E.

A. D. Brandt and H. E. Seifert, "Illumination, noise and radiant energy," Manual of Industrial Hygiene (W. M. Gafafer) (W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1943), pp. 353–372

Simonson, E.

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).

E. Simonson, "L'adaptation au travail physique," Le Travail Hunmain 4, 129 (1936).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "Quantitative analysis of voluntary eye movements," (to be published).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and H. Alexander, "Statistical comparison of changes in fitness characteristics," (in press).M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

Snow, C. E.

C. E. Snow, "A discussion of the relation of illumination intensity to productive efficiency," Tech. Eng. News 8, 257 (1927).

Ströer, H. J.

H. J. Ströer, "Rationalisierung der Arbeitsplatzbeleuchtung," Industr. Psychotechnik 3, 289 (1926).

Taylor, A. K.

H. C. Weston and A. K. Taylor, "The relation between illumination and efficiency in fine work (typesetting by hand)," Joint Rep. Industr. Fatigue Res. Board and Ilium. Res. Comm., (London) (1926).

Thompson, L. R.

L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).

Tinker, M. A.

M. A. Tinker, "Illumination standards," Am. J. Pub. Health 36, 963 (1946).

M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

M. A. Tinker, "Validity of frequency of blinking as a criterion of readability," J. Exp. Psychol. 36, 453 (1937).

Weston, H. C.

H. C. Weston and A. K. Taylor, "The relation between illumination and efficiency in fine work (typesetting by hand)," Joint Rep. Industr. Fatigue Res. Board and Ilium. Res. Comm., (London) (1926).

H. C. Weston, "The relation between illumination and industrial efficiency: I. The effect of the size of work." Joint Rep. Industr. Health Res. Board and Illum. Res. Comm. (London) (1935).

White, L. R.

L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).

Am. J. Ophthal. (1)

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, "Fatigue of convergence induced by reading as a function of illumination intensity," Am. J. Ophthal. 18, 319 (1935).

Am. J. Psychol. (1)

M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

Am. J. Pub. Health (1)

M. A. Tinker, "Illumination standards," Am. J. Pub. Health 36, 963 (1946).

Industr. Psychotechnik (2)

H. Schulz, "Die Ermüldung des Auges," Industr. Psychotechnik 2, 5 (1925).

H. J. Ströer, "Rationalisierung der Arbeitsplatzbeleuchtung," Industr. Psychotechnik 3, 289 (1926).

J. App. Psychol. (2)

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "A work test for quantitative study of visual performance and fatigue," J. App. Psychol. 31, 519 (1947).

A. C. Hoffman, "Luckiesh and Moss on reading illumination," J. App. Psychol. 31, 44 (1947).

J. Exp. Psychol. (3)

M. A. Tinker, "Validity of frequency of blinking as a criterion of readability," J. Exp. Psychol. 36, 453 (1937).

R. A. McFarland, C. A. Knehr, and C. Berens, "Metabolism and pulse rate as related to reading under high and low levels of illumination," J. Exp. Psychol. 25, 65 (1939).

M. E. Bitterman, "Heart rate and frequency of blinking as indices of visual efficiency," J. Exp. Psychol. 35, 279 (1945).

Le Travail Hunmain (1)

E. Simonson, "L'adaptation au travail physique," Le Travail Hunmain 4, 129 (1936).

Tech. Eng. News (1)

C. E. Snow, "A discussion of the relation of illumination intensity to productive efficiency," Tech. Eng. News 8, 257 (1927).

Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. (1)

C. E. Ferree and G. Rand, "The efficiency of the eye under different conditions of lighting: the effect of varying the distribution factors and intensity," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 10, 407 (1915).

Other (22)

T. A. Ryan, "Work and effort: the psychology of efficiency," (in press).

L. R. White, R. H. Britten, J. H. Ives, and L. R. Thompson, "Studies in illumination II. Relationship of illumination to ocular efficiency and ocular fatigue among the letter separators in the Chicago post office," Public Health Bull. No. 181, Washington (1929).

R. A. McFarland, A. H. Holway, and L. M. Hurvich, "Studies of visual fatigue," Harvard Univ. Graduate School of Business Administration (1942).

C. A. Oakley, Men at Work (University of London Press, London, 1946), p. 301.

H. C. Weston and A. K. Taylor, "The relation between illumination and efficiency in fine work (typesetting by hand)," Joint Rep. Industr. Fatigue Res. Board and Ilium. Res. Comm., (London) (1926).

H. C. Weston, "The relation between illumination and industrial efficiency: I. The effect of the size of work." Joint Rep. Industr. Health Res. Board and Illum. Res. Comm. (London) (1935).

F. N. Freeman, "An investigation of the illumination requirements of school buildings," National Education Association: Report of Committee on School House Planning, 90 (1925).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and A. Keys, "Quantitative analysis of voluntary eye movements," (to be published).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, W. J. Bushard, and J. H. Peterson, "Effects of practice and the consistency of repeated measurements of accommodation and vergence," Am. J. Ophthal. (in press).

J. Brozek, E. Simonson, and H. Alexander, "Statistical comparison of changes in fitness characteristics," (in press).M. A. Tinker, "Effect of visual adaptation upon intensity of light preferred for reading," Am. J. Psychol. 54, 559 (1941).

"American recommended practice of industrial lighting," Illuminating Engineering Society (1942).

J. S. Rogers, Illumination. In "Protecting Plant Manpower," pp. 63–66, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, 1941.

A. D. Brandt and H. E. Seifert, "Illumination, noise and radiant energy," Manual of Industrial Hygiene (W. M. Gafafer) (W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1943), pp. 353–372

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the textile industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 247 (1937).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the shoe manufacturing company," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 289 (1937).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Progress report on the lighting in the printing industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 31, 277 (1936).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Report on lighting in the candy manufacturing industry," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 483 (1937).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Studies in lighting of intricate production, assembly and inspection processes," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 32, 1019 (1937).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting for silk and rayon throwing and wide goods weaving," Trans. Ilium. Eng. Soc. 33, 17 (1938).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting for the machining of small metal parts," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 34, 21 (1939).

Committee on Industrial and School Lighting, "Lighting of power presses," Trans. Illum. Eng. Soc. 34, 153 (1939).

M. Luckiesh and F. M. Moss, Te Science of Seeing (D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New York, 1938), p. 548.

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