Light is sight – lighting plays such an important role in completing everyday activities. Proper lighting can make the difference between safety, success and frustration when you have vision loss. This is why we are always talking about lighting here at the Spectrios Institute.

The two main types of lighting that can be manipulated, in any room and for any activity, are ambient lighting and task lighting.

Ambient lighting is just basic room lighting provided by windows, ceiling lights, table lamps, and floor lamps. It should fill a room and is crucial for helping light the environment. Adequate ambient lighting is important for illuminating the areas through which a person moves.

However, ambient lighting can cause glare in some cases, especially if the lighting source is a south-facing window (in the northern hemisphere) or an uncovered lightbulb. Glare from sunlight through windows can be managed through curtains and blinds, and all lightbulbs should have shades. The balance between controlling glare and having enough ambient lighting are both important for being comfortable in the home.

Task lighting is direct lighting that illuminates the materials and objects involved in an activity. Task lighting comes in many forms, including adjustable gooseneck floor lamps, desk lights, under-cabinet lighting, and flashlights.

Ideally, task lighting should be positioned to optimize illumination in a specific area while controlling glare and removing shadows. When reading, a flexible gooseneck lamp can be positioned on the side of the individual’s better-seeing eye, below eye-level for glare reduction. When writing, a desk lamp can be positioned on the opposite side of the individual’s dominant hand so as not to create a shadow over the tip of the pen. Task lighting is usually the right choice for more light whenever an activity is located at arm’s length, or nearer.

Do you need help making sure that you have the right lighting for your specific tasks and situation? Make an appointment with Katrina (call 630-690-7115) and she can help you set up your environment for success!