Finding Lighting Fit for a VIP (Visually Impaired Person)
We all know light is a problem for us folks with age-related macular degeneration. Too much and the second we go into a dark room we are blind for what seems like hours. Too little and we cannot discriminate anything. Not details, not colors, nada! What do we do about getting the right kind and amount of light for our needs?
Once again, I will give my disclosure statement: I am not nor have I ever been an employee, stockholder, or otherwise an associate of the company I am going to talk about here in just a minute. It would be great to get kickbacks but I AM NOT GETTING ANY, mores the pity. I only mention this company because it was recommended to me by my habilitation person and she just happened to provide me with several, great lights. Free. Bless Blindness and Visual Services. I use these lights basically daily. So far, they do the job. If you have a light you like better, use it. Also, write in and tell us. You could have a better idea.
Ottlite floor and desk lamps
So, after that build-up, what’s the company? Ottlite. I have a floor lamp next to my bed and one in the office. I have a desk lamp on my ironing board. Somewhere I have a cute little pocket lamp but I had so much stuff in my nag bag I gave up carrying it. Can’t haul everything.
Ottlite describes its product as a “natural daylight” light and also refers to it as a special type of LED or light-emitting diode technology. Light-emitting diodes are semiconductors that produce light when electrons jump from shell to shell. Don’t ask me anymore because I am not certain I understand what I just “explained.” The takeaway message here is LED lights are good for the visually impaired.
Are LED lights helpful for VIPs?
LED lights are good for us VIPs for several reasons. One of the important reasons for me is they seem to last forever. I have not changed a lightbulb in 3 ½ years. LED lights are also cool. Temperature, that is. They not only won’t burn you but your lighting budget won’t be blown on the production of a lot of heat energy. Other reasons are that LEDs reach full brightness almost instantaneously and they are enclosed in hard plastic so they don’t break so easily. According to VisionAware, LEDs work best for concentrated areas such as your desk or sewing area.
Fluorescent lighting is recommended for overall room lighting. And no, you don’t have to go and get those long, tube bulbs you remember from school. They make something called a CFL or compact fluorescent lamp. The CFL bulbs are those curlicue things they were pushing a few years ago. More expensive but said to be better for our eyes.
VisionAware is not sold on regular old light bulbs. As many of us know, incandescent lights - aka regular old light bulbs - cause glare and shadows when used to light a room.
The best lighting for vision loss
The consensus from a few, low vision sites appears to be this: use LED lighting when you are doing something close and fluorescent lighting for general room lighting. This combination should afford you the best lighting for your vision.
LED lighting, such as Ottlites, is available from Amazon, MaxiAids and also lighting and sewing supply companies. CFL bulbs are available in larger grocery and variety stores.
Improved lighting for an improved life...do you think anybody would want that as a slogan?
True or false: You always know if you have macular degeneration.