Archive for January, 2012

THE EFFECTS OF LIGHTING ON INDIVIDUALS WITH LOW VISION

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by admin

Blindness or low vision affects approximately 1 in 28 Americans older than 40 years (Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group, 2004). It is important for these individuals to have the best lighting conditions wherever they are in order to maximize their vision.  Proper lighting is essential if you experience vision loss.  A good light source can make a dramatic effect on how you perform various activities of daily living such as reading, writing, and food preparation.  It can help you improve your independence and maintain your personal safety while at home.  When considering lighting, it is important to be able to manage or control the quality and quantity of light in your environment.  There are 5 different types of light with distinct characteristics.  Each one has advantages and disadvantages for individuals with vision loss.

1)      Sunlight:

  • The most natural source of light.
  • Can be used while performing any activity.
  • May create a glare problem or shadows.

2)      Incandescent:

  • Light bulbs used primarily for lamps and ceiling fixtures.
  • It is constant light that does not flicker.
  • Can be used for close work activities such as reading, knitting, sewing, etc.
  • May create a shadow or glare spot and uses more heat/ energy.

3)      Fluorescent:

  • Used primarily for ceiling fixtures.
  • Provides better lighting for a wider surface area.
  • Does not create a shadow effect and uses less energy.
  • Light can flicker and can not be dimmed as easily as a incandescent light.

4)      Combination:

  • Incandescent and fluorescent light.
  • Can be used for both illuminating a wide area of space and for close work tasks.
  • May require specialized lighting fixtures which can be expensive.

5)      Halogen:

  • More concentrated than the incandescent light bulbs and is usually used in lamps and recessed ceiling fixtures.
  • Gives good illumination and is more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs.
  • It is not recommended for prolonged close work because the light is hotter.

By

Miller Calberto, MS, OTR/L, CAPS
Senior partner
Adapting Spaces, LLC
mcalbertotr@adaptingspaces.com
1888-956-0077

LIVING WITH LOW VISION WHILE AT HOME

Monday, January 9th, 2012 by admin

As we age, our ability to see diminishes overtime making it more difficult to perform daily routines. In some instances, there are individuals that have been severely affected by their vision loss. Thus, being unable to live both safely and independently while at home.

The “New York City Housing Stock” has come of age and most of it was built before the American Disability Act became a reality. The majority of houses and apartments in the New York City area do not provide suitable living conditions for seniors and individuals with visual impairments. In the next series of blogs, we will briefly discuss how “lighting” and “contrast” can be used to adapt the home environment for individuals with low vision in order to make it safer and user-friendly. One prevalent issue in most consumers’ homes is the lack of contrast in their kitchens. I am always confronted with the “typical” white walls, light colored countertops, and white/ natural wood colored cabinets… I am sure you get the picture. The following suggestions will improve safety and functionality in the kitchen area:

1. Create a contrast between glassware and cookware utilized in the kitchen and the backsplash wall.

2. Stick to solid colors and avoid patterns.

3. Use combination lighting and avoid overhead fixtures.

4. Create color contrast between the floors, walls, and cabinetry.

5. Avoid materials or surfaces that readily reflect the light source causing glare.

By

Miller Calberto, MS, OTR/L, CAPS
Senior partner
Adapting Spaces, LLC
mcalbertotr@adaptingspaces.com
1888-956-0077