LIGHT AND VISION

As we age, our lighting needs change

While lighting standards have improved lighting in our homes and working environments, current guidelines are written for the eyesight of a 20 year old person, with full visual acuity.

An older person’s lens is thicker, reducing the admission of light

When we reach our 40′s, we need more light to see and perform the same visual tasks as a twenty-year-old. The lens of a young person is thin and clear whereas an older person’s lens becomes thicker and has less clarity because of a build-up of yellow crystalline deposits. This reduces the admission of light, especially blue light, which is vital for regulating the biological clock.

Visual Acuity of the Maturing Eye

Visual Acuity of the Maturing Eye

Light for seeing

Light for seeing

Light levels should be increased by 50% for older people

According to Figueiro (2001): “The light levels in the living environments of older adults should be increased to at least 50% above the levels that is comfortable for younger adults.” Figueiro also argues: “A least three times more light will be required in task areas to see fine detail or low contrast objects”.

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