• Lacie Martin

How Lighting Can Improve Safety in Your Home Environment



When you think of a safe home environment, good lighting probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, whether you hope to age in place or simply could use help navigating your home, lighting improvements can be a boon in many circumstances. Techno Lamp shares some important advice to help you ensure your home is properly lit for your comfort and independence.


Consideration for Aging Eyes


Our vision changes substantially as we grow older. Some experts feel that in our 40s, it’s typical for eyesight to begin a steady decline, which accelerates in our 50s, leaving us less able to focus on objects. Changes in vision can leave seniors at an increased risk for falls. With that in mind, it is recommended to make lighting modifications aimed at fall prevention. Make sure areas like the stairs and bedrooms have ample lighting to help you navigate more safely and easily. The stairs should have lighting at the top and bottom steps, and consider automatic lighting that turns on when you enter a room. Because you might be moving from a bright room into a darker space, it’s easier to get off-kilter. So, find ways to even out the lighting, whether it’s through choosing different light bulbs or adding more fixtures.


Low-Vision Essentials


If you’re someone living with low vision, there are several tricks for improving the lighting in your home environment. For instance, dimmer switches can help with adjusting ambient lighting. Also, make sure light switches are either lit or contrast strongly with the wall color so they are easier to see. Another recommendation is to use ample task lighting and set your lamps exactly where you need them, with the light directed toward your project.


Bright Ideas for the Bath


Bathrooms naturally lend themselves to trouble. With all the slick surfaces, shifting positions, using grooming gadgets, and soapy water, it’s easy to understand how being able to see properly can be an asset. With that in mind, make an assessment of your bathroom lighting. Is there sufficient brightness where you use the mirror? Do you have proper lighting in the shower and bath areas for safe transitioning? Is natural light allowed in, and if so, is it pleasant, or is there so much you’re experiencing glare? Be sure to make adjustments for comfort and safety.


Kitchen Concepts


Although the kitchen is the heart of the home, without proper lighting, it can quickly become a danger zone. Sharp blades, hot surfaces, and whirring equipment can mean potentially serious injuries if you can’t see well. When upgrading kitchen lighting, one suggestion is to layer the lights throughout the space. By including multiple sources in a variety of positions, you reduce both glare and shadows, evening the light and brightening the room as a whole. Avoid using shades, and do include some task lights in your work areas. Older homes often have fluorescent lightboxes with poor light quality, but you can replace them with options like track lighting, recessed lighting, or undercabinet lights. And if your dining room is connected to your kitchen, a chandelier can be a decorative, eye-catching way to light the space.


Love Your Living Room


There are several important considerations for living room lighting. It’s another room where layered lighting can improve comfort, such as table lamps where you read, bright ambient lighting, and added floor lamps in dim corners. Another aspect to consider: Doing things like watching TV in the dark can strain your eyes, so make sure you flip on some lights.


Add Some Technology


CBS News explains that there are important ways smart home technology can improve your lighting situation. For instance, you might want to set up lights to come on at the same time every day. Another plus is being able to turn on lights from your phone, as it can save you from coming home to a dark house if you’re out and about longer than expected.


Think About Lighting When You Move


If you’re thinking about moving to a new home, it’s important to take lighting into consideration when making your decision. This is especially true if you’re purchasing a home as-is; since the seller won’t make any changes to the property before you buy it, you need to see if you can affordably improve the lighting to your comfort level. If you feel it’s too much work for the money you’re paying for it, find another home that is better suited to your vision.


Being unable to see well can make your home environment challenging. Thankfully, conditions can often be improved through well-chosen lighting.


Image courtesy of Unsplash


Lacie Martin

Raisethemwell.org

lacie@raisethemwell.org