6 Ways to Brighten a Home for Aging Eyes

AGING in place eyes and light

The main issue is the quality of light. Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old. 

~Paul Eusterbrock, President Holkötter International


Aging Eye Basics:

– reduced visual acuity (small details)

– reduced contrast sensitivity (differences between light/dark on surfaces)

– reduced color discrimination (more time to adapt to sudden brightness changes)

– increased sensitivity to glare (lenses of aging eyes develop opacities that are prone to scatter light, resulting in greater sensitivity to glare)

How can lighting help these aging eye problems?

Lighting expert Lisa Reed has some bright ideas to share…

Not This                                                  But This

light for aging eyes age in place

More Light

More light is the answer to most age-related vision problems, but instead of raising overall light levels by 500%, use task light to pump light levels where you need them for reading, grooming, hobbies, etc. Then increase ambient light levels a little. One easy way to do this is to replace existing lamps with more efficient sources. Replace incandescent lamps with a high-quality compact fluorescent or LED lamp to increase ambient light levels without increasing power consumption.

Uniform Light

Combat adaptation struggles by providing uniform light within a room and from room to room. Help eyes adjust to light level differences from room to room by providing smooth lighting transitions between rooms. Entering a lobby during the daytime can be a different experience than entering it at night. Use daylight and lighting controls to create smooth transitions from outdoors into your building lobby.

Glare-Free Light

Beware of glare. Floaters and other imperfections in the eye cause light scatter and naked light bulbs exacerbate this problem. It can be tempting to use sources without shielding to increase light levels but don’t do it. Quality lighting is crucial for health and wellbeing for people of all ages. For the elderly, quality lighting can help prevent falls, which is one of the biggest hazards for senior health. For more information on this topic, check out the work of The Center of Design for an Aging Society.

(Lisa J. Reed has been attracted to lighting (like a moth to a flame) for 20+ years. She is the Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC in St. Louis, where she designs, teaches, and writes about architectural lighting. Connect with Lisa J. Reed on Google+.)

Thanks, Lisa, you make our world a little brighter…


 Products Patrick Likes

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Light Up Your Living Space

“Hello Darkness, My Old Friend”

Keep your home brightly lit…Think uniformity of the light distribution.

  1. Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, and hallways
  2. Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs
  3. Make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances
  4. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark/illuminated switches
  5. Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs/motion step-lights on stairs
  6. Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages

Mayo Clinic


Products Patrick Likes

age in place lights

Vansky Motion Activated Bed Light, Flexible LED Strip Motion Sensor Night Light

#1 Best Seller

5.0 out of 5 stars Great function, High Quality

Very high-quality light strip. It is covered with a silicone gel, so cleaning will be easy. They work very well as far as only lighting when dark and then when motion is sensed. The time adjustment to stay on also works great.
I placed them up high on a shelf in the bathroom for an indirect night light.
They are a little too bright, so I have covered the strip with masking tape. This toned them down to a perfect glow.

~Stephen D.

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Lighting the way the Key to Independence

Lighting Design Basics by BENYA Lighting Design

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