March 2010

Dr Paul Littlefair, Building Research Establishment

Daylight can be an effective lighting scheme for people with partial sight loss, research funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust has found. The study, conducted by the Building Research Establishment, was the first to specifically address the need for daylight in homes of people with sight loss. It found that daylight can give high light levels and an even spread of light, which can be helpful for people with partial sight loss, as long as glare is mitigated by appropriate shading devices.

Key facts:

  • Current design guidance contains little material on daylight in homes of people with sight loss.
  • Daylight can give high light levels and an even spread of light which can be helpful to partially sighted people.
  • The variation of daylight adds interest and enables people to maintain their daily rhythms of sleep and alertness.
  • Daylight and sunlight can also cause glare, so effective shading devices are important.

How can this research help?

This study was the first to specifically address the need for daylight in homes of people with sight loss and identifies major gaps that require further investigation. These include: preferences of people with sight loss for amount of daylight in their homes, and for daylight in kitchens; preferred types of shading device; evaluating automatic lighting controls in communal areas; needs of partially sighted people for visual privacy; and work to include
material on sight loss in daylighting guides.

Links: 

Research Findings: Daylighting and Windows in Homes of People with Sight Loss – PDF version and Word version