lighting for the young and elderly

Mumbai – Singapore, 30th January 2010

Weekends are good times to reflect on the week past…I rapped up my meetings in India and am now returning back to China to finish up on outstanding project matters before Chinese New Year.

One of the subjects I came across over the past week is lighting for the older generation. We know we are getting “older” when we start getting forgetful or our body does not respond with the same flexibility as it use to do! We judge life situations from our own perspective, but how good are we in understanding the young or in this case “elderly” people. I am using this term objectively without any particular intend to discriminate. I remember my dad peeping into my room at night telling me I was reading in bed with insufficient light. The truth was, it was ok for me, but not for him!

Earlier this week I was commenting to my colleague about the extremely reflective floor tiling at the railway station in Shanghai. I was looking at it from a reflective glare point of view.  Expecting his agreement to my statement, he actually surprised me totally. He asked me whether I realized how dangerous this is to elderly people? He cited his mum, in her eighties, who would be totally paralyzed and hardly able to move forward or even step onto these kind of surfaces. Why? Because to her it looks like a hole in the floor! She saw depth and not reflections! Quite an eye-opener. The point is that lighting standards are general average ones. There is little or no consideration for the elderly (or the young for that matter). Not only in regards to lighting but also in architectural design. While there are more and more standards towards the handicapped we may need to start looking to the young and elderly with the same urgency!

30. January 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting standards | Leave a comment

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