Before using your microscope, look over its various mechanical and optical parts. Even light microscopes differ in how they work, so familiarize yourself with the operations of the particular model you have. You will want to know what each knob does before operating it to avoid overworking or straining the mechanisms. Position the arm of the microscope toward you and the stage that flat platform used for holding the specimen directed away from you. If your microscope has built in light, be sure it is powered on before trying to use it for viewing. Use your microscope in a well lit room or outdoors. Microscopes often use a mirror to direct available light to the specimen platform, so not enough light will make it difficult to view an object and can cause eye strain. When using your microscope at its highest magnification, some models require special preparation of the specimen or lens.