How Lighting Can Improve Safety in Your Home Environment

Greg Wilson

Updated on:

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 could use help navigating your home, lighting improvements can be a boon in many circumstances. Read on for vital advice to ensure your home is adequately lit for comfort and independence.

    Consideration for Aging Eyes

    Our vision changes substantially as we grow older. Some experts feel that in our mid-40s, it's typical for eyesight to begin a steady decline, which accelerates in our 60s, leaving us less able to distinguish details and contrasts. Glare becomes more bothersome, it's harder to tell colors apart, and our eyes take longer to adjust to changes in brightness. These vision changes can leave seniors at an increased risk for falls. With that in mind, HomeAdvisor recommends lighting modifications aimed at fall prevention. Examine areas of the home that tend to be particularly dim, especially transitional spaces such as hallways and staircases. It's easier to get off-kilter because you might be moving from a bright room into a darker area. So, find ways to even out the lighting by 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, making them easier to see. Another recommendation is to use ample task lighting and set your lamps exactly where you need them, directing the light toward your project.  

    Bright Ideas for the Bath

    Bathrooms naturally lend themselves to trouble. With all the slick surfaces, shifting positions, grooming gadgets, and soapy water, it's easy to understand how being able to see correctly can be an asset. With that in mind, assess 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. You can get a quote for a bathroom remodel and compare offers by entering your zip code.

    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 severe injuries if you can't see well. One suggestion is to layer the lights throughout the space when upgrading kitchen lighting. By including multiple sources in various positions, you reduce both glare and shadows, evening the light and brightening the room as a whole. Avoid using shades, including 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.

    Love Your Living Room

    There are several important considerations for living room lighting. First, 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 is that watching TV in the dark can strain your eyes, so make sure you flip on some lights.  

    Add Some Technology 

    CBS News explains important ways smart home technology can improve your lighting situation. For rooms that are tough to navigate, lights with motion or voice activation can ease your comings and goings, or you might want to set up lights to come on simultaneously every day. Another plus is turning 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.  

    Philips Hue offers a premium experience via Bluetooth connectivity. You can control your lights from your mobile device. For $199, you can get a starter kit with 4 LED bulbs with ambiance adjustments to set the mood.

    Philips Hue LED Starter Kit

    Being unable to see well can make your home environment challenging. Thankfully through, well-chosen lighting can often improve conditions. Assess your situation, and look for ways to stay safe and sound at home.


    Michael Longsdon

    Elder Freedom – Empower the Elderly

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