Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has designed a Lighting Guide to help visually impaired people improve lighting in their homes, increasing their independence, comfort and safety.
The guide, which has been endorsed by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, is an updated version of the popular second edition of the Lighting Guide (2015), which was predominantly aimed at professionals carrying out lighting assessments. The new version is also aimed at blind and partially sighted people as well as their families and friends, providing practical tools and information.
The updated guide takes into account advances in light sources, mainly Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). It also looks at how new technology plays a role in improving lighting, with systems that can vary the brightness, hue and tint, and may be remotely controlled by a smartphone, tablet or touch panel on the wall.
TPT’s research into lighting in the homes of visually impaired people has found common problems include low levels of lighting, uneven lighting, shadows and dark areas and lack of information on potential improvements. The guide addresses these problems, covering every part of the home, including guidance on external lighting for safer access.
Exposure to bright daylight within the natural 24-hour cycle of light and dark is very important to our health. It can be particularly difficult for older people to receive adequate exposure to bright daylight. On average, people over 65 and those over 85 spend 80 per cent and 90 per cent of their time at home, respectively.
In addition, some normal effects of ageing, such as the yellowing of the eye-lens, diminishes the amount of light received by photoreceptors (cells that respond to light falling on them). It's therefore important that occupants of buildings have access to high levels of daylight, particularly in the morning, to assist the circadian system which controls daily and seasonal body rhythms, and is linked to various functions of the body.
Good lighting can support individual safety and orientation by illuminating areas of risk, like steps, tasks such as chopping vegetables, and making it easier to find and use door keys and doors. Different colours, types or configurations of lights can mark particular features and help with orientation and security.
You can read the guide on the TPT website.