In the sometimes dark and dreary winter months, older adults may be finding they are turning on more lights around the home and purchasing brighter bulbs. But it’s not just Seasonal Affective Disorder that has us craving more light; by the age of 65, the eyes need a great deal more light to perform well because they receive only about a third of the illumination of a 20-year-old.
The lens of the eye becomes more dense and yellow with age allowing less light to enter the eye and resulting in muted vision and colour perception. The lens also become less flexible with age and near focus diminishes resulting in the need for reading glasses as we get older. Glare can also be a problem for older eyes, making it more difficult to see well around reflective surfaces such as glossy countertops or windshields or pavement in bright daylight.
Luckily, seniors today have a multitude of energy efficient light sources to choose from including newer LED lights and programmable bulbs. Consider other areas in the home besides the comfy reading chair or bedside table where better lighting could be an asset; under cabinets, at the keyhole, inside drawers, in the closet, on the stair treads and of course in the bathroom. Contrast is key for the aging eye.
Because it takes more time for older eyes to adjust to lighting changes it’s important to try and have uniform illumination throughout the home to prevent trip and fall accidents.
To learn more about home lighting solutions visit the home design website Houzz at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5392083/list/How-to-Light-a-Kitchen-for-Older-Eyes-and-Better-Beauty/ .