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8 Home Lighting Tips For Elderly Homeowners

Home Lighting Tips For Elderly Homeowners – Many of us tend to take the lights around our home for granted. We just switch them on or off throughout the day, and go about our business as usual. Unfortunately, about 1 in 3 older adults suffer from some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65, making it difficult to perform daily activities and routines both safely and confidently. A poorly lit home can also increase the risk of accidents and falls. Taking this into consideration, one of the most important steps to take when ensuring the safety of your elderly loved one is to improve home lighting for better visibility and accessibility. 

Whether you’re a senior homeowner who is looking to upgrade your lighting, or a caretaker/family member who is on a mission to create the safest environment possible for your loved one, we’ve got you covered with these 8 home lighting tips for elderly homeowners.

Note: A quick disclaimer before we jump into this. If your home is lacking in lighting solutions, we highly recommend enlisting the help of a licensed electrician who will be able to install various lighting fixtures in parts of the home that you need them the most. Remember — electrical DIY may look easy, but it most definitely isn’t. You could injure yourself in numerous ways, or even start a fire, so be sure to leave this job to the professionals. Now back to it.


Home Lighting Tips For Elderly Homeowners

  • Task Lighting Is Essential

Task lighting is direct lighting used specifically for certain tasks around the home, such as cooking, reading, writing or sewing. This is by far one of the most crucial lighting elements to have in any home, especially for elderly homeowners. If you’re an avid reader, make sure that you have a dedicated reading light positioned strategically over your reading chair, desk or bedside. This way, you won’t have to strain your eyes when reading your favourite novel. 

But task lighting doesn’t just revolve around facilitating hobbies. In fact, this particular form of lighting also helps elderly homeowners complete daily chores, so you should consider other spaces in the home that may benefit from the installation of overhead or wall-mounted task lighting. For instance,  task lighting in areas of the home such as the kitchen and bathroom are absolute must-haves, as they can help reduce potential accidents or injuries when dealing with sharp or dangerous objects such as knives, scissors and personal grooming tools. 


  • Consider Switching To Cooler Bulbs 

Did you know that ageing eyes tend to have yellowing lenses, and thus the ability to see in the cool range becomes diminished over time? Often, colours such as green or blue become hard to distinguish with age, resulting in these colours starting to appear as grey. To counteract this natural phenomenon, experts recommend adding blue or cool light throughout seniors’ homes to increase the contrast between objects and make it easier to walk around safely. 

By simply switching to cooler, halogen and fluorescent bulbs, it becomes easier to brighten the home with minimal effort. This is because warmer lights often feel darker, while cooler light is perceived as brighter. If you feel that cooler lights seem too bright (especially at night), consider counterbalancing the effect by making use of LED dimmer switches, so you can easily adjust light levels throughout the day. 


  • Make Sure Light Switches & Controls Are Accessible

Take a moment to look around your home — are your light switches and controls as accessible as they could or should be? Seniors should not be stumbling through the dark to turn on a lamp, as this greatly increases your chances of tripping over something or falling and hurting yourself. 

To assess accessibility, take a pass through each room in the home and make sure that all light switches are free from obstructions and placed within easy reach for any dwellers using mobility aids like walkers or wheelchairs. If you find that your home is lacking, consider retrofitting your existing lights with controls that allow you turn them on and off with a clap, remote control, or even with the sound of your voice. Motion sensor lighting is also another fantastic option for many inaccessible areas in the home, more of which we will touch on later in this article. 

  • Let Smart Devices Do The Work For You

As mentioned earlier, there are a wide number of tech solutions when it comes to making your home lighting more accessible as a senior. With this in mind, smart home lighting features can be a great benefit to older adults who want to live safely and independently in their own homes. Implementing smart lighting in and around your home will allow you to control your illumination remotely using nothing but your home’s WiFi network and a connected mobile app. 

READ: 5 Best Health Watches for Seniors to Keep Them Safe Around the Clock

Not only will you be able to switch your lights on and off, but you can even set timers for your lights and create schedules or routines to turn them on and off at various times of the day based on set daily routines. Thankfully, learning to use and control your lighting through a smartphone app isn’t as complicated as it may seem either. All you have to do is download the companion mobile app that connects to your selected smart lighting solution, and then get to grips with a basic understanding of some intuitive commands and controls which you can learn in under an hour.


  • Consider Motion Sensor Lighting 

For an affordable option, consider installing some wireless, stick-on, motion-sensing lights that make it quick and easy to automatically light up dim areas in the home such as stairwells, pantries, stairs, long hallways, or deep closets. These lights conveniently illuminate when someone enters their field of vision, sparing the individual from searching for the switch. Moreover, wireless motion sensor lights will allow you to illuminate areas of the home that may not be in close  proximity to a power outlet, and allow for a wire-free lighting option that won’t create additional tripping hazards around the home. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to look into outdoor motion sensor lights for your backyard, patio, porch or front entrance areas. Installing these types of lights in outdoor areas will help to reduce the chances of accidents, such as tripping over stairs or accidentally smacking yourself against a wall when it is dark. They’re also superb for home security purposes, as outdoor sensor lights like floodlights can dissuade any third parties from approaching your property during evening hours. 

  • Increase The Flow Of Natural Light 

Of course, no article about lighting tips for any home is complete without mentioning the wonders of natural light. Indeed, the most powerful source of ambient light that anyone can ask for during the daytime is the sun, which faithfully delivers up to 107,000 lumens each day! For seniors who are looking to brighten their spaces, nothing beats increasing the flow of natural light in the home. Moreover, natural light plays a huge role in the mental and emotional health of seniors, especially those who live alone. 

To get started, consider installing a skylight in high-traffic areas of the home, painting walls a lighter colour, or including more reflective surfaces into your home decor. When it comes to maximising natural light, switching up your window treatments is also a great idea. Generally, the best type of window treatment to increase the flow of natural light will be sunscreen blinds, sheer curtains or vertical blinds, all of which offer supreme light control.


  • Make Use Of Night Lights

If you thought that nighlights are only for children, think again. Night lights can be a highly effective and incredibly useful addition to any older adult’s home, and one thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of a fall in the bedroom or bathroom. There are a ton of different varieties available on the market, from basic touch lights and night lights with a timer, to motion sensor night lights and torches. We recommend using a combination of different types of night lights, or alternatively, choosing a variety that best suits your individual needs. 

READ: How To Fall Proof A Home For Elderly

Of course, the placement of these night lights will require some strategic thinking. Generally, night lights should be placed in an easily accessible location such as a night stand or vanity in the bathroom. Afterall, there is no point in a night light if you can’t reach it in time.


  • Conduct Regular Checks To Ensure Everything Is In Working Order 

Last but not least, one of the best things that any senior or caretaker can do is to conduct regular checks or inspections to ensure that all of your lighting solutions are in perfect working order. This means taking some time either once a week or once a month to make sure all of the lighting elements around the home are functioning properly and in good condition. The last thing you want is for a bulb to blow in the middle of the day, so be sure to check regularly, and to consider switching to long-lasting, energy efficient models

To make things easier, take note of when you install a new bulb, and when you might expect to have to change it. Similarly, be sure to regularly check batteries in handheld devices, remotes and task lighting systems. A little bit of effort goes a long way here. 

And there you have it — 8 expert home lighting tips for elderly homeowners or caretakers who are looking to create a safer space for your loved ones. We hope that this article has equipped you with some new ideas and tricks that you can utilise in your daily life for a brighter, more independent and safer day, everyday.

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