Lighting For Older Adults

As people age, changes in vision occur that affect the ability to perceive and understand the world around them. For instance, there are normal age-related changes in the pupils (less light can enter the eye), the eyes’ accommodation speed decreases (it takes longer for eyes to transition to different light levels), and color perception weakens (yellowing of the lens makes it difficult to distinguish greens from blues).

Older eyes also become more sensitive to glare–both direct glare (from a directly visible lighting source, such as an unshielded bulb) and indirect glare (a consequence of bright light bouncing off reflective surfaces, such as shiny floors).

The Lighting Research Center (The LRC) a leading University based research center devoted to lighting research has created an excellent publication answering common questions about vision and lighting posed by older adults and offers practical solutions to help them, their families and care givers. It can be downloaded here