As we get older our vision starts to become a little fuzzy. Studies indicate up to three times more light is required to see - but it's not as simple as switching to a higher watt bulb. Review these simple tips to learn how to reduce glare and shadows, so you can see more clearly.
Tips for Improving Lighting for Accessibility
It's not necessary to completely redesign a home's lighting scheme to increase and balance consistency of light throughout a room. Consistent light promotes:
Solutions for Accessible Lighting
- Reduced glare - direct glare (as from a light bulb) and reflected glare (from shiny surfaces) are eliminated.
- Decreased shadows - especially when moving between rooms. A drastic transition from light to dark or dark to light can be extremely challenging for those with reduced vision.
- Flexibility - lighting can be added or adjusted when brighter light is needed.
- Focus - light is directed to the areas that need it most.
- Security - well lit stairways, handrails, hallways and entryways provide safety and a sense of well being.
The following ideas are both useful and stylish in practically any application:
- Overhead lighting can be provided by a varitey of light bulbs. Upgrade or supplement overhead lighting with additional sources.
- Recessed lights can be placed in the exact spots where additional illumination is needed.
- Track lights provide overhead light and allow light to be focused where it's needed.
- Under-cabinet lights are a very inconspicuous source of kitchen illumination.
- Task lights supplement overhead indirect lighting when additional light is needed for hobbies, reading, or other concentrated projects. Lamps are the most logical source of task lighting. Place them on one or both sides of the task. Reduce glare by having the shade below eye level.
- Wall fixtures, such as sconces, help light stairways and hallways. Side lights by the bathroom mirror reduce shadows.
- Skylights and tubular lights provide natural light.
Contrast is Key for Accessible Lighting
Skylights have already been mentioned, but contrast is an essential concept. Depending on the background or base color, add contrast by using lighter or darker colors on:
- Cabinet hardware and drawer pulls.
- Pillows and bathmats.
- Glasses, dinnerware, kitchen utensils and trash cans.
- Moulding and doors.