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As light enters the eye, it passes through the front and middle of the eye to the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. Here, the incoming light is converted into neural signals which are then transmitted to the brain. Once these signals reach our brain, a visual image is built[i].

Image source: iStock

As the eye ages, less light is able to reach the retina. By the time we are in our 60s, most people will need three times more light than when they were in their 20s[ii].

"By the time we are in our 60s, most people will need three times more light than when they were in their 20s."

If you are living with an eye disease like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), your need for good lighting will be even further increased. On occasions, you may start experiencing heightened sensitivity to glare and it may also take longer for your eyes to adjust between different levels of lighting – for example, when going from one room to another[iii].

Tips for improved lighting

There are a number of small adjustments you can make in your home to help you continue carrying out daily activities - both safely and comfortably:

  • Go brighter: Fit brighter lightbulbs that can help provide a stronger contrast between different colours. Go for a higher “lumen” rating when choosing lightbulbs. Lumen is used to measure the total visible light that a lightbulb can emit, or in other words, the brightness of the bulb[iv].
  • More lights: Add lights in the areas where you like to work, read and carry out other daily tasks.
  • Maximise daylight: Have your windows cleaned regularly and keep your curtains tied back to maximise the amount of natural light coming into your home.
  • Enhance lighting at night: Use a nightlight and, where possible, add floor or hallway lighting to help you move safely in your home in the evening and at night.
  • Control glare: Make sure that lighting is even and adjust the positioning of furniture to minimise uncomfortable glare.

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[i] All about Vision. The Retina: Where Vision Begins. Available at: https://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/retina.htm. Last accessed February 2021.

[ii] RNIB. Lighting Solutions Guide. Available at: https://www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/Lighting%20Solutions%20guide%202013-14.pdf. Last accessed February 2021.

[iii] Macular Society. Protecting your eyes. Available at: https://www.macularsociety.org/support/practical-guides/healthy-living/protecting-your-eyes/. Last accessed February 2021.

[iv] US Department of Energy. Lumens and the Lighting Facts Label. Available at: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/save-electricity-and-fuel/lighting-choices-save-you-money/lumens-and-lighting-facts. Accessed February 2021.

Page-Specific Approval Code UK | February 2021 | 107575