Form a task force to improve office lighting standards in Canada. #darkinhere

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Humans have spent hundreds of thousands of years outdoors. Over the past 50 years, our lifestyle has changed dramatically. Currently, we spend about 90% of our time indoors.

Lighting levels outdoors are significantly higher (2 to 2,000 times) than those indoors. Recent studies show that light has a critical role in our physical and mental health. Proper lighting conditions improve focus, alertness, productivity, mood, and sleep quality (in case of circadian lighting).

Some sections of the Canadian lighting standards are outdated and were written based on the standards for the U.S. These standards may not be suitable for the current lifestyle of Canadians because of the following reasons:

1.       Higher latitude and weather conditions in Canada mean lower natural light levels, especially during the winter.

2.       While most office tasks are now completed using computers, the minimum lighting level at VDT (computer in 1989 language, shown in picture) is one-tenth of the recommended level. 

3.       Recent studies (see above) clearly show that light plays more important roles than just the ability to see a target.

Therefore, we respectfully request that “Employment and Social Development Canada – Labour Program” form a task force to conduct additional research to develop a plan to improve the lighting standards, especially for office lighting for employees working with computers (VDT) in Canada.

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