5 Ways to Adjust Lighting for Low Vision

Every person sees the world around them differently. For those with low vision, lighting can significantly impact their ability to see and navigate their surroundings. Here are 5 ways that lighting can be adjusted to help people with low vision make the most of their sight.

1. Reducing Glare

Different eye conditions can cause light sensitivity. Light is crucial, but excessive amounts or glare can cause physical discomfort such as tearing up or getting headaches. Glare can also cause vision to become hazy or blurry, making details even less visible for those who are visually impaired. To reduce glare, use shades or filters on light sources, position lights at different angles, and use matte finishes on surfaces to reduce reflective glare.

2. Increasing Contrast

As higher contrast with dark mode helps many visually impaired people read and navigate their screens, enhancing contrast in the surroundings can improve their ability to distinguish between different objects and surfaces. This can be achieved by using lighting that highlights the edges of objects and surfaces, creating shadows that provide depth perception, and using contrasting colors to create a clear distinction between different surfaces. For example, using a light-colored floor with dark-colored furniture can make it easier for someone with low vision to navigate a room. 

3. Providing Task Lighting

Task lighting can be particularly useful for individuals with low vision, as it provides additional light for specific tasks such as reading, cooking, or sewing. Task lighting can be provided through lamps, under-cabinet lighting, and other forms of localized lighting. By providing additional lighting for specific tasks, people with low vision can work more efficiently and with greater accuracy.

4. Using Natural Light

Sunlight can make any space bright, airy, and beautiful, while being an excellent source of illumination for individuals with low vision. It is important to manage natural light. Too much direct sunlight pouring into a room may be too bright and may cause glare, while not enough of it could darken the room and make it more difficult to see. This can be done by using window treatments, coverings, filters, that allow light in while diffusing direct sunlight and by positioning furniture to take advantage of indirect natural light.

5. Providing Consistent Lighting

Consistent lighting can be important for individuals with low vision, as sudden changes in lighting can be disorienting and make it difficult to see. By providing consistent lighting throughout a space, people with low vision can navigate their surroundings with greater ease.

Taking all these considerations into account and adjusting lighting accordingly can help individuals with low vision make the most of what they can see with comfort, ease, and confidence.

 By Guenivir Kendrick with help from ChatGPT


Perez, S. S. (2023, February 16). Useful Independence Tips for Low Vision Awareness Month. The American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from https://www.afb.org/blog/entry/independence-tips

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