Lighting and the Aging Eye

Task lighting for the elderly poses a special set of problems to the lighting professional and luminaire designer. As a person ages, his or her visual system changes - the sensitivity shifts, the cornea yellows, the scattering of light within the eye increases, and sensitivity to non-uniform luminance patterns and glare increases.

Visual deterioration such as macular degeneration and diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma further complicate the issues involved, and common ailments such as arthritis affect the ability to manipulate and control a localized task light.

Our current project with the University of Colorado at Boulder investigates the special problems associated with task lighting for the elderly and will culminate in a set of recommendations relevant to the design and development of lighting fixtures and lamps for this application. Read about this study in an excerpt from the Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: LEUKOS.

Professor Bob Davis has set up a system of measuring the performance of each lamp on two levels: vertical light output and horizontal light output. The results of these tests show the best placement of the lamp in relation to the task performed, i.e. how far away a book can be held for comfortable reading.


Performing Power Test Results Explanation of Graphics