Lighting Tips for Active Adult Living

Home lighting affects the quality of life as we age. Progress Lighting offers lighting tips for active adult living to create a safe and healthy environment for older adults.

active adult living

Home lighting can profoundly affect the quality of life, especially as we age. Lighting plays a vital role in creating a safe and healthy environment for older adults. Here are some lighting tips for active adult living.

Physical Changes That Affect Vision

Our eye and visual systems change as we age. For example, less light reaches the back of the eyes because the pupils decrease in size as people age; the lens inside the eye becomes thicker; and the lens scatters light, causing objects and colors to appear less vivid. For these reasons, aging adults require more light to perform daily tasks.

In addition, proper lighting is necessary to avoid slips, trips and falls. According to the CDC, every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.

Here are some ways lighting fixtures can promote independence, peace of mind, and safety for older adults.

Pendant Lighting

Credit: Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Moonrise from the Point Dume™ Collection

Pendant lights are great sources of task lighting. They offer direct downlight on work surfaces or reading areas to help seniors see what they are doing. Because light scatters more in older eyes, they are more sensitive to glare. This, in turn, makes it harder to see details. Reduce glare from pendants and other lights by selecting fixtures with a diffuser or shade or fixtures that feature concealed sources, like integrated LED fixtures.

Undercabinet Lighting

HES-PROG-Blog-Undercabinet-LightingCredit: Beazer Homes

Undercabinet lighting ensures safety for daily kitchen tasks by keeping the counters well-lit. Other supplementary illumination, such as toe-kick lighting mounted under exterior stair rails or floor level under cabinets, can provide additional light for safety while supplying extra light without glare.

Recessed Lighting


Recessed downlights produce a bright, even light spread that ensures a well-lit area. Recessed lights are an excellent ambient or general light source without direct or reflected glare.

Bath and Vanity Lighting

HES-PROG-Blog-Bath-and-Vanity-LightingFeaturing Hartwick

Ideally, vanity lighting should be placed on either side of the mirror to avoid casting shadows over the face, which can cause challenges for women applying make-up and men shaving. Mount side lighting fixtures at eye level – around 5 feet, 7 inches. If using a double sink vanity, use two mirrors and three sconces. In the shower or over tub areas, be sure to select fixtures rated specifically for wet locations.


  • Install dimmers across the home to control the amount of light by area.
  • Use LED fixtures to save on overall cost and maintenance.
  • Incorporate the three light layers: ambient, task and accent layers.
  • Avoid shadows and dark spots.
  • Select glare-free light fixtures.
  • Choose light sources with 3000K color temperature and 80+CRI.

Check out our brochure, Active Adult Living, for more great information and tips!

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