Posted by: Carolinas Center for Sight in Eye Health

The right lighting can make a big difference in your ability to read, work on the computer or perform a hobby. Sometimes it is the simplest things that can really make a big difference in our lives – and providing good lighting is one of those things you can do to make a huge difference. In fact, with better illumination the need for magnification may be less.

One of the most important things to know if you have low vision is that you need more light for near vision tasks and for getting around your home with better visibility. Low vision requires lots of light fixtures, table and floor lamps, and brighter bulbs. Plenty of lighting will help ensure your safety – near stairs, hallways, closets and around furniture. Many people find it helpful to put some lights on timers so that as it gets dark, rooms or hallways are automatically lit.It is also beneficial to have a front hall light on when coming in at night. Using motion detecting lights whether it is light switches or stick up lights is a convenient way to prevent fumbling with switches when you enter a dark bathroom or hallway at night.

Getting the Most From Lighting

Use a white lampshade for more light and get a floor lamp that holds two bulbs. These lamps feature a three-way switch which provides a maximum light bulb wattage of 150 watts of better and brighter light.

Proper position of light sources is critical. Use a desk lamp that has an adjustable swing arm of gooseneck so that it can be positioned with the light being directed onto the reading material or hobby. The closer the light source to the task, the better illumination. Place task lamps to your side to avoid reflected glare from your work surface.

There is nothing like taking “light” with you wherever you go. Pen lights can be extremely beneficial and can help read a menu in a dark restaurant, check the buttons on handheld devices, or to get a plug into an outlet.

Better Lighting

  • Halogen torchiere lamps provide the best brightness for overall room light.
  • Gooseneck adjustable floor or table lamps are best for detailed work.
  • Get lamps that offer three-way lighting. That way, you can increase lighting up to 150 watts for reading.
  • Use the brightest light bulbs recommended for each lamp or light fixture.

Sunlight: Help or Hinder?

For some people, allowing as much sunlight into their home Is helpful while others need to filter it because their eyes have become light sensitive. For those who benefit from a sunny room, use it to do certain task as such as crossword puzzles, writing checks or reading. Place a chair near a window for daytime reading. Sunlight for reading can be helpful for some but not for everyone. Put your chair with its back to the window so that the sunlight falls onto your book or project. For those who are light sensitive, window shades that filter sunlight can help light up a room but reduce glare.

What Light Bulbs Are Best?

There are several types of lighting, but many people with low vision prefer the brightness of a halogen bulb. It has a long bulb lifespan and produces whiter and brighter light. Halogen bulbs can also enhance contrast for some users. However, halogen bulbs burn hotter than other bulbs and can produce intense heat.

  • Fluorescent – Although they provide the brightest light, fluorescent lighting usually causes the most glare.
  • Halogen – These bulbs cause less glare but they can be too hot for some lamps. Just like fluorescent bulbs, halogen bulbs can only be used in halogen lamps.
  • LED – These bulbs last for thousands of hours and provide bright, cool lighting.
  • Full Spectrum – This lighting enhances color and contrast and mimics sunlight.

If better lighting doesn’t help you see better, it may be time for an eye examination. Contact Carolinas Centers For Sight, P.C. today for an appointment to address low vision and all your medical/surgical vision concerns.