Indoor light

Marshall Protocol (MP) patients who are photosensitive (and those starting the MP who do not yet know the extent to which they are photosensitive) must limit levels of indoor light to which they are exposed. To do that, they must protect their skin and eyes from exposure to natural light indoors by blocking all external light from the areas of their homes that they use. They must also protect their eyes from bright artificial light sources.

The level of indoor light in the home should be limited to 30 lux. If all natural light is blocked and artificial light indoors is from incandescent sources only and limited to 30 lux, eye protection is not necessary. If, however, indoor light sources include halogen or fluorescent lighting, NoIRs or equivalent eye protection must be used.

So, lighting is dependent on what you can tolerate. The only way I know to find out what you can tolerate is to get the NoIR 901 shades and wear them for a few days to protect your eyes (indoors) and then take them off for 1/2 hour at a time, looking for neurological effects some 2-3 hours later.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Lighting suggestions


Rooms that MP patients inhabit most will need adequate window coverings. Even if house windows are shaded by trees or overhang or are facing north, they must be covered to block the light from entering. Dimmer switches or lower watt bulbs may be needed to limit the light intensity to no more than 30 lux.

MP patients can use halogen and fluorescent lighting, but due to the ultraviolet light output of these devices, adequate eye protection must be used.

When using an overhead halogen, wear a cap to shield the top of the eyes, and wear NoIRs while reading. It is the eyes that primarily have to be protected from low-power (<50W halogen) lamps.

Trevor Marshall, PhD


MP patients should attempt to lower lighting levels in their workplaces to the extent possible and wear NoIRs or their equivalent. Some MP patients (those who work with computer graphics, etc.), sometimes cannot use NoIRS because of color distortion. Zeiss lenses may make it possible for these patients to be able to have adequate eye protection and maintain necessary function.

I had previously spoken to the person I report to (I work as a contractor, so I don't have a 'manager') and told him what I would be doing, and why.

Those people I know well asked me why I was wearing sunglasses. I just said that I had an illness and needed special glasses because I was photosensitive. Those who before would just nod as I passed them greeted me with a smile (I don't know whether of compassion or amusement). No one said anything about not wearing them – you wouldn't ask someone with a broken leg not to use crutches, would you?

Sure, I got some funny looks from people at the shopping centre later on, but that's their problem, not mine…..

pdejager, MarshallProtocol.com

I also work in an office with many fluorescent lights, and I work with a computer. I went to my employee health MD (or you could see your MP MD) and she gave me a prescription for reduced lighting. My work is obligated to turn down the lights in my area. They did this by turning off two of the three bulbs in the two fixtures over my desk. They also gave me a screen to put over my computer that cuts out 90% of the glare.

Sue from Indy, MarshallProtocol.com

One MP patient asked:

I need to start work. Some aspects of my job (IT engineer) will require me to be able to see electronics very clearly. For some of the tasks, it simply will not be feasible for me to wear NoIRS. This will probably be for durations of about 30 minutes to one hour and will involve indoor light only. Is this going to really hamper my progress?

Reply from moderator:

Only time will tell if exposure to indoor lighting will hamper your progress. Hopefully, the exposure will be incandescent and not fluorescent. You might try experimenting with using sunglasses that do not distort color perception (if that is an issue) but may still provide you with some protection.

Accommodating the disabled in the workplace

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodation to enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. The Job Accommodation Network, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), may be able to assist individuals who need further information on accommodation in the workplace.

Televisions and computer monitors

Marshall Protocol (MP) patients who are photosensitive must protect their eyes from light emitted by televisions and computer monitors.

Fluorescent lighting

MP patients who are subjected to fluorescent lighting must use NoIRs or equivalent eye protection. There is blue spectrum light emitted from fluorescent lights, so sunglasses used under fluorescent lighting must be dark amber UVA/UVB-blocking. Many stores, doctor's offices and other commercial establishments that MP patients visit will have fluorescent lighting, so adequate eye protection will be needed in those places.

There are fluorescent bulbs available which are suitable for MP folk. I used to use them myself, when necessary. The true problem is the amount of light. A 13-watt fluorescent gives more light than a seriously ill patient can tolerate and may need to be filtered down a little. It is control of the amount of light and the use of “warm white” fluorescent bulbs, which need to be attended to in the workplace. (Not to mention the brightness of the computer screens.)

Trevor Marshall, PhD

I am the director of an aviation museum in Ohio that has many artifacts that are sensitive to UV lighting. Our fluorescent bulbs are covered with a UV filter to protect the artifacts from the damaging light. They just slip over the fluorescent bulbs, very easy to install. Here are sources that we have for UV light filters:

JRC, MarshallProtocol.com

Full spectrum lighting

NoIR sunglassesSpecial sunglasses worn by Marshall Protocol patients to block light. filter the light spectrum to remove all the energy which is not essential to vision. MP patients who use full spectrum lighting indoors would need to wear NoIR sunglasses (or their equivalent). There may not be much point, however, in continuing to use the full spectrum lighting bulbs, which are touted to be “like natural sunlight”. It may be easier to replace them with low-wattage incandescent bulbs no more than 30 lux, which would then not require protecting the eyes with sunglasses.

Patient experiences

Reducing my at-home lighting to 30 lux or less…

Six weeks before starting the Benicar, I began a gradual reduction of light in my apartment suite. Many of the ceiling light fixtures had as much as 200 watts. I gradually reduced the bulbs, from 100s to 60s to 40s to 25s to 15s. Before I started the Benicar, I had a max of about 40 lux.

I continued the gradual reduction in the last two weeks (since starting Benicar). The maximum now in any one fixture is 2 x 15 = 30 watts. Some fixtures have only 15 watts and two have only one 7.5-watt bulb. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a 7.5-watt bulb!

The key to me was the gradual reduction over time. What may seem somewhat dark one day appeared normal a few days later, and so on, until I became adjusted to a max of 30 lux.

The use of the light meter was extremely helpful. I find that a maximum of 30 lux is not dark to me now. At home, I wear my 40% NoIRs only when watching TV programs (I have no computer at home)–and only those programs which are too bright (even with the brightness on the TV turned down to about 1/3 its previous level). Otherwise, I do not need to wear my NoIRs in my home at all!

I believe that some people feel that their home has to be so dark that they can barely see to maneuver around. With my increased sensitivity to light caused by the Benicar, I find no problem seeing quite well without my NoIRS with a level of 30 lux or less.

Because I live alone, I was able to change the lighting drastically so that I would not have to wear my NoIRs all the time at home. Those of you with others to consider will have to adopt a strategy that works well for all.

Larry, MarshallProtocol.com

I have made a few changes that have helped me a bit. First I realized that my ability to tolerate my cave environment seemed directly proportionate to the intensity of my illness and its direct effect on depression, rather then the other way around. Having said this I know that there are still some things that can help minimize this situation.

I installed heavy duty blinds with batten strips and attached Velcro on its sides. When the sun sets, I make it a point to remove the strips and pull-up the shades for a full view of the neighborhood. I used this time to also open up the windows to help air out the apartment. I found that it helped reconnect me to the outside. Getting out at night, even for a short time, breaks the monotony.

The lowered lighting can also be depressing. There is better light distribution through many small lamps of say 7.5 w as opposed to very few lights of stronger wattage. I stayed below 30 lux in any area of the apartment and eliminated many dark spots.

When ever you can control your sleeping, you may want to shift your sleep schedule. By retiring at 3:00 a.m., I would often get up around 12 noon. By the time I eat and get going there are only a few hours to kill. A little reading, studying and chores as you are able can quickly fill in the gap.

I found that the illness still mandates my schedule. I remember not to long ago finding myself meandering around my house for days prior to the MP. Nothing really has changed except knowing that I can’t leave. Perhaps it’s mostly a mind game. I don’t know what its half life is, but it does seem to get better with time.

Tom, MarshallProtocol.com

home/lifestyle/light/indoor.txt · Last modified: 09.14.2022 by
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