How can lighting help?

Twist portable light | © RNIB

Good lighting is important. Poor lighting can lead to eyestrain and headaches, and someone partially sighted can find it even more difficult to see objects.

Some people with sight impairments such as Usher, require good even lighting. Up-lighters and standing lamps can be used to light a room effectively particularly if the light is reflecting off white walls and ceilings.

If reading text or for work requiring concentration, it’s worth placing a light behind you that can be directed where you most need it. Reading glasses or magnifiers can also help. Some magnifiers have a light in them which will illuminate the area being magnified.

Our magnifier section has more information on reading glasses and magnifiers.

Table top lamp | © Visionenhancers

Areas where you spend time should also be well lit. Consider placing desk lamps or lights with bendable long ‘gooseneck’ stems close to a computer workstation, or spotlights in the kitchen for the ceiling or shining on to the countertops.

Computer screens and televisions should not be placed with windows behind them because on a sunny day the light from the window may make the screen hard to see.

What should I look for?

Desklamp | © Enjoy Able Living

Different types of lighting are available and if purchasing from a shop for a specific purpose, check with staff for recommendations.

It is useful to remember that many energy saving bulbs start off dim and become brighter as they warm up. If these are used in settings where they are not on for a long time they won’t get a chance to warm up and may not give the level of lighting required.

Some examples of lighting systems

Portable lighting

A portable light makes it easier to use one light for many tasks around the home as they are lightweight and can easily be moved from room to room. Portable mains lights are available, but some are also rechargeable which means there are no trailing wires. There are even lights you can clip onto a book.

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has a useful guide to lighting.

Possible stockists

Please note: the following list is not exhaustive and Sense is not responsible for the content of external sites nor do we endorse any of the products mentioned

Enjoy-able Living
The Good Life Guide
Low Vision Supplies
Vision Enhancers

First published: Tuesday 22 May 2012
Updated: Friday 4 April 2014