5 Tips about lighting for Low vision

Published on
January 20, 2022

Lighting is vital for improving the daily living of someone with vision loss. Here are some important ideas related to low vision lighting. 

More Lighting Creates a Magnification Effect  

Proper lighting for a patient with low vision is very very important and one of the main reasons for this is because if we get really great lighting (Both in quantity and quality of light) we effectively increase the contrast of the material that has been looked at and thereby it creates a sort of magnification effect. 

Direct Contained lighting is Essential

What we want is called the Directed Contain Light, which means the light is going to project directly onto the material that you're trying to look at. This is compared to a  standard lamp where the light is gonna scatter out of the top and the bottom of the lamp shade. Low vision lamps are much more directed than decorative lamps and tend to have further options for adjusting the direction of light. 

Positioning the Light

Where the light is placed can have an impact on the visual function of a person with low vision. For example if the light is going back toward the face it  can create glare. Another example is to check for creating shadows on the area where attention will be focused. We like to recommend lamps where the head is adjustable and directable. 

Light Intensity

There are different situations where you may want to increase or decrease the intensity of the lamp. For example if the lamp is too bright it can cause a similar effect to when the sun is bright outside. A low vision patient may be more sensitive about glare and care should be made to check that the patient is not experiencing some glare or light sensitivity. One of the things a lot of low vision patients find useful is to have adjustable strength lamps. 

Color Temperature

Another option that we want to consider with lighting is what's called the temperature of the light. Cool lighting 5500k+ is going to have more of a daylight or a white appearance to it. Warmer color temperatures, around 4500k or lower, will have a little bit more of an orange look. Most of my patients tend to prefer the cooler warmer daylight look versus warmer. Some patients find the cooler light easier to see, but the warmer light more comforting at night. Many low vision lamps have the option to adjust color temperature. 

Color rendering index or full spectrum

For someone with vision loss the higher the color rendering index is, the better. Full spectrum lighting or high CRI lighting is ideal for a low vision patient because it helps show the colors more vividly. This creates a magnification effect as well as improving the ability to have improved color contrast sensitivity. When purchasing lighting for low vision we recommend full spectrum lighting or 95+ CRI


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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