Different types of lighting for low vision

Published on
October 25, 2022

Which lighting is best for people with impaired vision? Do some lamps have a better light than others? Ultimately, people should use whichever type of lighting suits them best.

In this article, we discuss different lighting options for people with low vision so they can maximize their vision while reducing eye strain and discomfort.


What does the temperature of the color indicate?

Color temperature is measured in Kelvins or K. It ranges from 2,700 Kelvins, which are warm, yellowish lights, to 6,500 Kelvins, which are cool or bluish lights. It is usually, but not always, recommended to have a Kelvin rating of below 5,000 for people with low vision.


What color temperature is best for someone with vision loss? 

It is important to realize that we all respond differently to light, and a color that works well with one person may make it more difficult for others. There is no steadfast rule when it comes to the color temperature for lighting, the only rule is that a patient should use what they feel helps them the most. With that said many patients enjoy lighting with full color spectrum or the option to change the hue of the light. 


What are the different types of lighting for people with low vision?

There are several types of lighting available today with no compromises on style, décor, or functionality thanks to advancements in technological and interior design.

Let's take a quick look at the most common types of light bulbs:

Incandescent light

This light source offers a bright, "warm white" glow (around 3200K), which enhances contrast. 

Halogen light 

There are some people who prefer halogen light because it is brighter, whiter, and more concentrated. It is used in lamps, track lighting, and ceiling fixtures, and it is also available in adjustable gooseneck and flex-arm lamps. It is not recommended for prolonged close work, since halogen light is hotter and more focused than other types of light.

Full Spectrum

This color spectrum is closest to real sunlight and provides the most vibrancy of colors. This is important because some lighting can overuse light from the blue spectrum and blue light can cause glare and there is some research suggesting that prolonged exposure to blue light may harm the retina. Full spectrum lighting is available in LED and Fluorescent bulbs.  


LED lights today offer a number of great advantages since they are bright like incandescent lights, but are more energy-efficient. They have colder lights, which are more on the blue side and warmer lights, which are more on the yellow side, and it does make a difference. A lot of people have more comfort and clarity with LED lights. They also last much longer than other types of bulbs. Another benefit is that LED lights come in many different forms from overhead lighting to table top lamps. It is generally our recommendation that a low vision patient uses LED lighting that is full spectrum or has different color spectrums. Furthermore some patients will find it beneficial to have dimmable LED lighting so that they can increase the intensity when needed. 


Schedule a low vision exam

Dr. Wolff, our residency trained low vision optometrist, can provide you with information on the best lighting for your needs and where to purchase these lights. You can reach our staff by calling (562) 925-6591 to schedule a low vision evaluation.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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