People with chronic migraines can experience headaches, sound sensitivity, numbness, dizziness, nausea, and more.

Sensitivity to light is another common symptom, with 80–90% of people with migraine reporting this symptom.

Light sensitivity can occur after a migraine attack. Managing light sensitivity can be important for some people. Without proper lighting, you can cause headaches.

While doctors have always recommended seeking a dark room to cope with light sensitivity, new research suggests the type of light you use could actually affect migraine triggers and symptoms, too.

“Researchers think that certain types of light could be useful to people with migraines, but they don’t use other types of light to avoid triggering migraines.”

Certain lighting and lightbulbs are not to be avoided.

  • The lights flicker, which is called the compact fluorescent lights.
  • excessive artificial light
  • There are too-bright lightbulbs and screens.
  • glare
  • The light is intense outdoors.

The best lighting for people with chronic migraines is shown in the infographic.

Illustration by Bailey Mariner

Human-centric or integrative lighting

This is a new concept in architecture that supports lighting interior spaces with a variety of lights that complement your activities. It is based on research that shows how light affects your brain and emotions.

You may need to seek the advice of a lighting expert to figure out how to use this type of lighting. It should include soft, ambient light that can be seen from the other side of the room. The lighting can be adjusted so you can see what time of day it is.

You might need brighter lights near places where you prepare food, read, work or complete other tasks.

Adjustable lighting

A dimming switch is a good idea for main sources of light. This can allow you to change the look of a space if you have a migraine.

It is possible that the light used for specific tasks may be problematic for migraines. Try turning on a lamp with a soft light source instead of using harsh lighting when you need more light.

Warm LED lightbulbs

If you have chronic migraines, you may want to consider using a soft, warm light. There are many types of lighting and you may need to replace them. These bulbs are inexpensive and last a long time.

“The warm or soft tones of the lights are better for people with migraines. The bulbs’ Kelvin rating can be used to figure out how bright they are.”

The lights have a rating of around 2,700. Blue light could be problematic for migraines. The lightbulbs labeled as cool or daylight have a rating of over 3,100.

Halogen lightbulbs

These bulbs do not flicker. If you have chronic migraines, they emit a warm light that may be more soothing.

If you need more light for cooking, you may want to use a holstering lightbulb. If you have recently used these lightbulbs, do not touch them directly because they can become very hot.

Smart lightbulbs

“You may find smart lightbulbs useful. You can change the type of light coming out of the smart lightbulb. This allows you to adjust the light’s brightness and hue.”

You can control the lightbulbs with an application on your phone or computer.

Green light

Some research in the last decade supports the use of green light for migraine management. One study in 2016 found that green light — as opposed to other colors of light like white, amber, and blue — was the least problematic for those with chronic migraine. This may be because green light creates smaller signals in the retina and brain than other colors of light.

Green light is more complex than a green lightbulb. You should buy a green light lamp for migraines. You can try it for a certain amount of time in a dark room.