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Understanding Older Adults’ Perception and Usage of Indoor Lighting in Independent Senior Living

August 2021
EBD Journal Club

Evidence-Based Design Journal Clubs are formatted for 15-minute presentations and 45-minutes of discussion to provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with authors who recently published EBD papers or articles in peer-reviewed journals such as HERD. Learn as they share ways to put their research into practice.

The main purpose of this research is to examine the lighting condition and residents’ perception of lighting in a senior retirement community in order to understand various environmental issues related to lighting. Also, this research aims to suggest a new lighting solution to compensate for older adults’ vision impairment and challenges at home for a successful aging place.

In the normal aging process, more than 30% of older adults have a vision impairment, which negatively affects health and well-being of older adults such as limited activities, falling, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and a sense of control. Via a mixed method study design, residents in senior living communities were asked to describe the adequacy of light levels and specific tasks and needs related to lighting at their home. In addition to the survey and interview, indoor lighting assessments were conducted during the in-home session.

The research findings highlighted older adults’ experience and perception of lighting in their homes. Paired-sample t test indicated that there were statistically significant differences in light levels between normal conditions and full capacity conditions in all spaces. In order to address various challenges which older adults have been experiencing in their home for a long time, this research suggests new smart lighting platform which provides a proper level of illumination in older adult’s homes. Such a smart platform is proactive and can dynamically adjust the smart devices or lighting fixtures in situ, while older adults are performing certain tasks.

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