All barcode types require a certain amount of light space to the left and right of the code. This enables the scanner to differentiate between the barcode and surrounding graphics. Should the wrong type of graphic image or colour intrude on the light margin, there is a risk that the barcode will not decode, or worse, will decode incorrectly.

One of the most common causes of bad reads is light margin incursion. For this reason, some symbologies employ a method of protecting the quiet zone. For example, an unbroken rule or box may be defined around the code. With the EAN-8 barcode, left and right Light Margin Indicators (< & >) are placed on the left and right of the code, in the human readable field, with the tip aligned with the outer edges of the light margins to dissuade designers from placing graphics within the quiet zones.

Minimum Light Margins (EAN-8):

Left Light Margin
Right Light Margin
1.85mm 80% 1.85mm
1.97mm 85% 1.97mm
2.08mm 90% 2.08mm
2.20mm 95% 2.20mm
2.31mm 100% 2.31mm
2.43mm 105% 2.43mm
2.55mm 110% 2.55mm
2.66mm 115% 2.66mm
2.78mm 120% 2.78mm
2.89mm 125% 2.89mm
3.01mm 130% 3.01mm
3.12mm 135% 3.12mm
3.24mm 140% 3.24mm
3.47mm 150% 3.47mm
3.70mm 160% 3.70mm
3.93mm 170% 3.93mm
4.16mm 180% 4.16mm
4.39mm 190% 4.39mm
4.62mm 200% 4.62mm

Also refer C - EAN-8.


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