It's Brent

My Bias Lighting Setup

Posted on September 22, 2014

As a programmer I’m always searching for things to make my computing experience better, both in terms of health and productivity. Few things I’ve done have made as much of an impact as my bias lighting setup on my 27” iMac in the picture below. The benefits from the bias lighting extended far from the office as I never realized how bad the computer screen was to my eyes. Little did I know I was suffering from issues with Computer Vision Syndrome.

Bias Lighting on 27" iMac

For the longest I suffered from headaches, eye strain, and dizziness. I just assumed this was part of me, or I always tried to equate it to drinking too much caffeine the day before. There wasn’t a week that would go by that I didn’t have to take Excedrin or motion sickness tablets. Over a couple of months went by before I realized I wasn’t downing pills anymore and how much better I felt.

Bias lighting can help with the reduction of glare and reflection on your screen by moving the light to behind your screen. Especially with the lack of matte options on Apple displays. Which resulted in my not having any lights on because I couldn’t see my screen. Even things you wouldn’t expect like “colors and black levels appear richer than they would in a totally black environment”.

After over a year of using bias lighting I have far fewer headaches. My eyes feel less tired at the end of the day. Light doesn’t hurt my eyes as much anymore, even the bright Louisiana sun. It’s easier to work longer periods of times when my office is dark, whether at night or when it’s overcast outside.

My Setup

While I prefer the multicolor Dioder setup as the white is much cooler, you can find the plain white set which is much warmer at Amazon / Ikea. Antec offers quite a few solutions as well that are strictly for bias lighting. Like this larger set for use on a TV, or a USB powered set.

Note: Typically I work mostly during the day, this picture was taken at night to give a better illustration. The window in front of my computer is a little misleading as it’s behind a small tree, and there is never any direct sunlight coming through it.


I am a software developer living in Shreveport, LA with my wife, daughter, and 2 dogs. Most of my time is spent developing for the web using Rails, on mobile for iOS, and sometimes for the Mac. When I'm not programming I follow the Texas Rangers through the ups and downs of all 162 games.

You can find me on Twitter and Github.

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