What is the Unified Glare Rating & importance for workspaces?

Explore the Unified Glare Rating (UGR), its importance for optimal workplace lighting, and strategies to manage glare effectively.

Owing to technological advancements, we consider unified glare ratings for commercial and corporate sectors. Understanding this concept is crucial to enhancing everyone’s working experience across different industries. We define glare as excess brightness that can hamper visibility. 

Glare is not healthy in long-term exposure. Glare is a common problem for many sectors. For this reason, it is beneficial to learn more about it. This can empower us to devise more ways to solve glare quickly.

Regarding commercial lighting, we can only consider a unified glare rating. It helps us create the best lighting environments without any trouble. There is still a margin-left to study the unified glare rating deeply so that we can address the problem without any complications. 

What Is UGR?

Unified Glare Rating means how intense a glare comes from a light source. We use this measurement to enhance lighting work in commercial and corporate environments. We determine UGR on a scale of 5 to 40. This scale helps us with the accurate determination of the glare when needed. 

The recommended glare for working environments should be between 16 and 19 on the scale. Sometimes, in rare cases, we might have to tweak this recommended range under professional supervision. Different factors influence this UGR. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them in account to avoid problems. 

These factors can also change depending on the nature of the working environment. For instance, the lighting requirements of an office might be completely different from the lighting requirements of a classroom. 

Undoubtedly, we have to work with these factors precisely to come up with the best lighting solutions, depending on the working environment. We can determine UGR in two viable ways. Glare tables and lighting design software are two ways that empower us to measure the UGR in all types of environments. We consider lighting design software to be more precise regarding UGR. 

UGR for Workspace Productivity

If there is glare in a workspace, it is caused by inappropriate lighting solutions. Glare is not healthy for employees and workers. Prolonged exposure to glare can strain the eyes and lead to problems like photosensitivity. 

Headaches due to glares are also a common complaint by employees. It also hampers the productivity of the professionals in the workplace. Sometimes, glare causes distraction and a massive risk of manual error. Glare can also be hazardous in factories where workers must manage heavy machinery. 

Guidelines and Standards for UGR

There are some standard UGR guidelines that we should follow to reduce glare in workspaces. The glare should be within the recommended range so that it can reduce the problems mentioned above. 

Also, appropriate lighting should be considered to avoid glare. Such guidelines are viable to avoid potential risks to employees and workers in different working environments. 

  • Proper Lighting Solutions

As discussed earlier, glare is caused by inappropriate lighting choices or wrong positioning. If you don’t consider the installation factors for the lights, they can produce glare. Therefore, it is essential to consider proper lighting solutions to reduce the chances of glare. 

For this, seeking professional guidance will be beneficial. Lighting providers specialize in glare and UGR measurement and help you aim for the recommended glare. 

Case Studies & Real-world Applications

Undoubtedly, UGR is highly beneficial for working environments. Companies can easily protect their staff from strain, photosensitivity, and headaches by integrating lighting systems into smart devices. This will allow companies to better control these lights and enhance their productivity. Also, using UGR to improve employees’ functionality will be a great move toward employee success and performance. 

How to Reduce Glare?

Below, we discuss different ways to reduce glare. These ways help you understand the cause of glare and fix it in time so that it does not damage employees’ health. 

  • Beam Angle

The beam angle is very important to consider. When lights perform with wrong beam angles, they mainly produce glare. If the light focuses on one area concisely, it can also cause glare. Therefore, it is crucial to adjust beam angles properly to avoid such complications. 

  • Surface Reflectivity

If the workspace has a reflective surface, it will also produce glare. Reflective surfaces under lighting systems are a big no since they give rise to glare. Also, working on such surfaces will take a lot of work for employees. Therefore, replacing these surfaces with non-reflective ones will be a reliable decision. 

  • Visibility

If lighting sources are too powerful and bright, they can cause glare. Therefore, it is better to cover them with shades so that they can emit less light. If you have intelligent lighting solutions, you can control them from smart devices and dim them when needed. 

  • Output

The output of these lighting systems depends on their location. Therefore, it is essential to determine a suitable location for these lights. Installing these lights in a space that can produce intense brightness will also cause glare. It is advisable to use suitable lighting systems in appropriate places so that they can regulate the output of lights. 

  • Luminaire Placement

Different working environments require different placements of light sources. When we wrongly place the luminaries, it increases the chances of glare. Sometimes, human error in the installation of these luminaries also becomes the root cause of glare. Therefore, right from the installation, it is important to be vigilant so that you don’t have to struggle with glare at all later.

  • Ambient Light

Using ambient lighting will significantly reduce glare. These lights are beneficial because they blend with all types of working spaces. For this reason, many companies and schools today consider ambient lighting to help with glare reduction successfully. 

Additional Benefits of Managing UGR in Workspaces

  1. Enhanced Visual Comfort: We require visual comfort when working in a particular environment, which leads to better concentration. Therefore, regulating UGR in working spaces will enhance the visual comfort of employees and increase their productivity. 
  2. Supports Healthier Work Environment: Companies must be aware of employee health, and this can be done by using UGR. If we regulate this factor, we can easily enhance employee health. There will be less risk of headache, photosensitivity, burnout, and strain. 
  3. Increases Workplace Flexibility: Employees can become more flexible with the help of UGR regulation and management. They can easily adjust the lighting as per their convenience and needs. It helps them with easy UGR management that creates a positive impact on their performance as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is an ideal UGR value for office environments?

A1: Generally, it is recommendable to keep UGR between 16 and 19 on the scale. This range is healthy and beneficial for enhancing employee health and productivity. 

Q2: Can UGR levels be adjusted after installation?

A2: It is possible to regulate and manage UGR after installation. The smart lighting systems significantly allow for this. We can adjust UGR easily through smart apps. Employees can always keep these apps in hand and regulate the UGR when needed. 

Q3: Are there specific light fixtures that are better for reducing UGR?

A3: Glare-diffusing light fixtures can significantly reduce UGR. They are readily available and provide a better chance for UGR management post-installation. 


Now you know why we should maintain and regulate UGR in working environments and schools. UGR can be problematic if not addressed in time. However, with proper consideration of some factors, we can easily reduce glare. 

Vorlane is your reliable lighting partner and helps you with UGR determination, management, and guidelines. Our experts provide tailored advice on UGR so that you can greatly enhance the functionality of your working space and employees. Contact us today!


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Steven Liang
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