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How-To's & Tips - Lighting Tips for Seniors

Lighting Tips for Seniors

Posted on May 26, 2014 by Daniel | 0 comments

It takes a significant amount of change when a senior member of the family moves in with you. Requirements for 60-70 year olds may change the entire architecture of the house, or will certainly lead to some fine tuning. Examples are placing ramps, grab bars and many more. One critical aspect, often overlooked, is the importance of lighting for aging eyes.

Aging eyes

An aging pair of eyes is proven to be only half as effective as the eyes of the younger people. For instance, older eyes have trouble seeing distances, distinguishing colors and looking at small fonts or other details. The glare that younger people do not mind is a major setback for older people because of their sensitivity to it. All these complications come along with age. These ill-effects of aging will continue to hamper someone’s vision as age rapidly rises. This is why you must ensure that old eyes get the amount of light that they need to see clearly.

Indoor and Outdoor lights

The interior of the house must be filled with lights especially when there is an older person residing. One must choose the right set of lights in order for the senior members of the home to see properly and avoid the extra stress and fatigue to the eyes that goes with bad lighting. However, one should avoid lights that produce too much glare as it can be very damaging and disorienting to the eyes, young and old alike. One should expect that a person over 50 years of age will need twice as much light as an individual half his/her age.

To help seniors in the kitchen, it is best that you install task lights. You can strategically place task lighting under hanging cabinets to give extra illumination. A good type of lamp to install is the fluorescent kind as it is bright and easy to maintain and replace. If you want the kitchen to still look great, you can add wall sconces. The sconces play up the design of the room and give more ambient light. You get the extra bonus of removing shadows from faces, which helps both old and young look better!

Be sure to place one or two table lamps bright enough for reading and general lighting in the bedroom, but place halogen lamps if an older person really wants to see. For those who want to save energy, they can use LED lamps with almost similar output. It should never be forgotten to put as much light inside the bathroom as possible to avoid accidents and have excellent vision.

Outdoor light fixtures are also vital for an elderly person’s eyes for secure footing.  All entrances and exits should be bathed with enough light for the benefit of aging eyes. It would be good to choose lighting fixtures that automatically light up when it gets dark to save the senior citizen from the trouble of remembering to switch them on. Or if you prefer, you can go for the fixtures with motion detection technology for added security and safety.

If you are having trouble in choosing the right bulbs, you can visit our Light Bulb Buying Guide for more tips on "lamps" as the pros call bulbs.

A few important reminders

In providing the adequate light for a senior citizen, never forget to consider that some will be spending a majority, if not all of their time sitting in a wheelchair. For some, it will be very difficult to stand up and sit again. It is very crucial to make the light switches for a sitting person within arms reach or lower it for about four feet above the floor to save them the hassle of reaching for it.

Also, it will do the senior citizens some good if you add dimmers on lighting fixtures. This way, elders can control the amount of light that they want at any given time. For instance, if they want to watch TV, they can keep the light low. If they want to read, they can turn it up.


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