Diffrient Light Offers Shining Example of Bright Design

Task Lighting Reduces Costs While Boosting Worker Comfort, Performance


Karen Brooking
New York — Research shows that office environments that team task lighting with lower ambient lighting levels lead to improved comfort for workers while boosting energy efficiency. Humanscale’s Diffrient Light is designed to provide optimal task illumination via state-of-the-art electronics and compact fluorescent technology for maximum ergonomic results and cost savings.
According to human factors research at the Cornell University Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, eyestrain is the top health-related complaint among office workers, and some 79% of computer users want better lighting. Research by Brusking/Goldring shows up to 80% of office workers experience at least one negative effect from poor lighting and 75% want more lighting control.
Task lighting provides ergonomic comfort by supplying the right amount of adjustable illumination for each user and task while reducing glare and computer vision syndrome—a condition causing eyestrain, eye fatigue, dry eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, headaches and other symptoms. Task lighting has also been shown to elevate mood and positively influence productivity according to research by Cornell University, the Light Right Consortium, and other sources.
When task lighting is implemented at each workstation in an office, ambient lighting levels can generally be reduced. And when lower levels of overhead lighting are combined with task lights utilizing compact fluorescent bulbs—which use 25% of the energy of comparable incandescent bulbs, give off 75% less heat, and last up to ten times as long—the cost-savings can be significant.
The Diffrient Light by legendary industrial designer Niels Diffrient was developed with all of these factors, and more, in mind. It is the only positionable task light with a near-perfect counterbalance for knob-free repositioning, offering remarkable flexibility and ease of use. In their Annual Design Review, I.D. Magazine recognized the Diffrient Light with the prestigious 2005 Design Distinction Award.
“My goal was to create a highly functional task and work light featuring effortless adjustability and the latest fluorescent technology—for its energy savings and comfort during use—in a visually uncluttered and handsome design,” says Diffrient. “I'm gratified by the result and hope the lamp brings comfort and health to users’ work.”
Designed with the environment in mind, the Diffrient Light is constructed of 90% recycled and recyclable content—primarily aluminum—while its compact fluorescent bulb with high-efficiency inline ballast uses a quarter of the energy and gives off 25% of the heat of comparable lamps, potentially reducing lighting and cooling costs.
For architects and builders, the Diffrient Light can contribute to the achievement of credits in the LEED Green Building Rating System® in the areas of Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. The Diffrient Light can also be instrumental in achieving a LEED CI 2.0 Credit in the category of Innovations and Design when it is implemented as part of a comprehensive ergonomics program.
To complement any workplace interior, the Diffrient Light is available in two shade designs: the Task shade offers a sleek, horizontal profile, while the Work shade features a conical design. Each retail for $276 and up, and are available with single or double parallel arms, silver or black finish, and five desktop and wall-mount options. For more information, visit or call 800-400-0625.
About Humanscale

Humanscale is the premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Achieving more with less, Humanscale’s product designs have been honored with more than 150 prestigious awards since 2007 and featured in various museums such as The Museum of Modern Art.

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