Reduce Computer Screen Glare by Working in a Box

Reduce Computer Screen Glare by Working in a Box
Photo: Meghan Moravcik Walbert

Inevitably, at some point in the afternoon a few days every week, my son pops into my office to ask if I’ll come work outside in the backyard while he plays in the inflatable pool. Does he ask me to do this on cloudy days? No; cloudy days are not good pool days, you see. So I end up out there, in the sun, with spotty Wi-Fi and a screen covered in so much glare that I find myself constantly positioning and repositioning my laptop, trying to find the angle that will let me work with the least amount of frustration. At least, that’s what I used to do. Now I put my laptop in a box.

The idea came from Reddit user u/benlouislebu, who says:

Because it’s sunny [and] I want to work outside but it’s so bright I can’t really see the screen. Putting your laptop in a box blocks out the light, so your laptop screen is bright. It also keeps [the] laptop cooler.

He’s right on both counts. And while you can use a very nice looking cardboard box like u/benlouislebu, I found that an old box that once held a case of one of our favourite local beers (shout out to the aptly named Always Sunny Pale Ale) also does the job. Sure, it’s a little beat up from transporting food and beverages back and forth on our annual family trip to the shore — but it blocks out the sun, keeps my laptop cooler to the touch and it reminds my neighbours that I enjoy a cold brew. This box is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

As a couple of Reddit commenters pointed out, though, you may want to cut a few holes into the cardboard for ventilation and/or raise your laptop up off the cardboard (perhaps by sliding two smaller pieces of cardboard underneath it on either side) if it seems like the vents are blocked and working overtime — particularly if you’re going to set up like this for a while.

Log in to comment on this story!