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As the bright light of summer wanes and the longer nights of fall begin to arrive , I wanted to share with you today a few tips on #BoomerSmart lighting – especially for those of you who might be preparing your own homes for the arrival of your parents or elderly guests for the upcoming holiday season. Some of you might also be moving your parents into smaller homes, or remodeling your own homes for your own parents, who need a bit of extra care now.

As we evolve, our eyes do, too. The 60 year old eye sees 40% less light than the 20 year old eye. This is due to two factors. The pupils get smaller, allowing less light into the eye, and our retinas change, also allowing less light into the eye. Famous model, Kate Moss, at a picture taken earlier this year, is nearing 50 now, and if anyone understands the importance of proper lighting, she does.


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Because of this, it’s important to remember these lighting tips when hosting a 50+ year old guest, or remodeling a home or room for your parents. In the title picture at the beginning of this post, designer Barbara Barry incorporated all of these lighting tips:

1. Reduce glare from bright sunlight through having sun filtering shades on the windows.
2. Provide ambient and diffused lighting across the rest of the room to minimize shadows.
3. Have diffusers on overhead pendants to reduce glare and make it easier to see.

The picture below is of my own kitchen in my home in Wichita, that I designed as a *living laboratory* with my husband, Bob, to showcase the design principles I teach designers and others about through my IDCEC/NKBA approved CEU courses. As you can see, there is bright, even light everywhere on my countertops + plenty of non glare overhead lighting and my large slab walnut work surface is evenly washed with light. There are no dark shadows, minimizing our chances of cutting ourselves when chopping and cooking with our children and grandchildren during the holidays and our local friends whom we cook for frequently.


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For your holiday guests, you’ll also want to pay special attention to task lighting -whether that’s on a desk they might be using with their computers, or in the bedroom they will be staying in while visiting your home.

For the older eye, task lighting that has a pivot or adjustable head is critical and will be appreciated by the experienced eye, and if it can can be on a dimmer switch that allows for control of the amount of light, so much the better, and it has an on/off switch that’s easy to reach, it will be even more appreciated.


This classically designed task lamp widely available at Restoration Hardware would work well in almost any home and it comes in a variety of finishes.


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And lastly, I’m a big fan of the Adorne lighting line by Legrand, North America. Their WAVE lighting switch is perfect for #BoomerSmarts homes.

If you have a parent [ or a child ] challenged by mobility issues with their fingers, just wave a hand across this, and the light goes on and off.

If you’d like to see more about this switch, please click here.


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I hope these simple, quick lighting tips have helped you think about preparing your homes with the right lighting sources to avoid falls and trips as we roll into the holiday season.