The right lighting can make a home look warmer as well as more spacious, which is why lamps, sconces, and pendants are normally on the menu when redecorating. Do you know what else illumination does? It increases safety, and that’s especially important for seniors who are aging in place.
It’s no secret that falls are a major health hazard. After all, that’s why you’ve installed non-slip surfaces and grab rails. However, it’s still easy to trip if you can’t see where you’re going, so what you need is a full-scale lighting plan that keeps your dwelling safe and mobility-friendly.
Here are some helpful ideas, but bear in mind that if you suffer from poor vision, you may need to add more and brighter illumination than recommended.
Before making any changes to your lighting, determine whether the level of brightness remains the same from room to room as well as in the hallways and staircases. This is an important factor, as it becomes more difficult for your eyes to adjust to changes in intensity as you age. Areas, where a brightly-lit area leads into a dark one, can be particularly treacherous.
This is the type of lighting that provides that evenness you’re seeking. Luvozo suggests sources close to the ceiling that diffuse around 30 lumens per square foot, with incandescent or LED bulbs instead of halogen, as the latter are too bright and create glare. A color rating of at least 80 is also recommended.
According to a lighting industry insider speaking with Dominion Electric Supply Company, these ensure the lighting level matches what you’re doing, whether it’s setting the table for dinner or just watching television. Be careful when buying dimmers, as there are many different types to correspond with different lights.
They allow you to turn on lights with your voice so you don’t have to feel around for light switches in the dark. You can also use timers or your smartphone for even greater control and convenience. Motion sensors are another high-tech solution that improves mobility by lighting up the hallway automatically as you head to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
This is one of the most dangerous rooms of the house, partly due to the oven, but also because of all the slicing and dicing, you do with a sharp knife. Layered lighting with LED bulbs would provide the level of brightness you need to keep a sharp eye on the timer and the chopping board, with some under-cabinet task lights adding more illumination.
Here’s another area where accidents happen, often because of wet floors around the sink and bathtub. You can avoid dangerous situations by making the most of natural light coming in through the window, with bottom-up shades for privacy. As for the ambient source, stick with something you can dim to avoid hurting your eyes first thing in the morning when they’re still adjusted to the dark.
It makes sense that this zone would get special attention as well. After all, one false step here, and you could take a tumble. Avoid that by adding some illumination as well as motion sensors to make sure the lights are already on whenever you need them, but especially early in the morning and late in the evening.
Your home is not just a source of hazards – it’s also a place for pleasure. Much of that comes from activities such as long hours spent in the living room reading a book, which is particularly difficult without the appropriate task lighting. Make sure rooms where you enjoy your hobbies include lamps in addition to ambient light sources. There’s no reason you can’t be stylish in your choices.
It’s important to ensure you are in a well-lit home that’s safe for enjoying your retirement. Just don’t forget to turn everything off when you leave. You don’t want that electricity bill to cause you health problems, either.