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Lighting and glare

Lighting and glare

There are many simple things that you can do to make life with sight loss easier and safer. Poor lighting and glare can reduce remaining vision. Better use of lighting within your home and reducing glare and reflection can help.

Making better use of lighting in your home 

Natural daylight provides the best light for getting around inside your home. Artificial lighting is useful for dark areas or when there’s no natural light available. 


Lighting for reading or close-range work 

Targeted lighting is useful for close up tasks, such as reading or crafts. The general rule is to have the lamp positioned below eye level between you and the object you are viewing. Move your lamp around and place it where shadows don’t fall on your work.  


Managing glare and reflection 

Glare can be uncomfortable, confusing, and may reduce your useful vision. It is important to position light in a way that avoids this.  

To help with glare in your home: 

  • use lightshades, uplighters, or paper ball shades rather than spotlights 
  • position lights so that you cannot directly see the bulb 
  • use coloured writing paper instead of white, and avoid gloss or sheen  
  • avoid highly polished floors and table surfaces 
  • use UV shields, such as clip-on or fit-over UV/blue light filters. 

To help with glare outside:  

  • wear a broad brimmed hat, cap, or visor
  • wraparound sunglasses can help to reduce glare 
  • polarised lenses will reduce the amount of glare. 


New technology and smartphones 

Smartphones come with a torch application as standard. Light detector apps can be useful if you are blind or severely sight impaired. 


Seven features of good lighting 

Appropriate: Meets an individual’s specific needs.

Sufficient: For tasks, orientation, and movement. 

Even: Consistent across different areas. Use low glare lighting. Avoid deep shadows or sharp changes in light levels. 

Adjustable: Consider options, such as switching, dimming, and using different lighting elements.

Energy efficient and sustainable: Maximise the use of available natural light. Simple measures, such as curtain tie backs and blinds, can help.

Simple to install: Use existing wiring and fittings wherever possible. Consider changing decorations, colours, and furniture layout.

Adaptable: Future-proof installations to respond to changing needs or lighting innovations.


For more information, contact Visibility Scotland on 0141 332 4632 or

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