Lighting Effects: Ageing & CRI

How does the quality of lighting (CRI) affect people as they age?

The quality of lighting, including Colour Rendering Index (CRI), can have a notable impact on individuals as they age. Here's how it affects people in the ageing process:

  1. Visual Acuity: As people age, their visual acuity tends to decline. High-quality lighting with a good CRI can help compensate for this decline by providing accurate color representation, making it easier for older individuals to distinguish between objects, surfaces, and details. With better colour rendering, they can navigate their surroundings more confidently and perform tasks with greater ease.

  2. Contrast Sensitivity: Older individuals often experience a decrease in contrast sensitivity, which affects their ability to discern subtle differences in shades and contrasts. Lighting with a good CRI can enhance contrast and improve visibility by accurately rendering colours and creating clear distinctions between objects and their backgrounds. This helps mitigate the impact of reduced contrast sensitivity and allows older individuals to perceive details more easily.

  3. Perception of Safety: Adequate lighting, including good colour rendering, is crucial for promoting a sense of safety and security, especially for older individuals. High-quality lighting with accurate colour rendering helps them identify potential hazards, navigate spaces, and recognise objects, reducing the risk of accidents or falls. This is particularly important in areas such as staircases, hallways, and bathrooms, where visibility is essential for maintaining safety.

  4. Visual Comfort: Lighting quality, including CRI, significantly impacts visual comfort for older individuals. Poor lighting, such as low-quality or flickering light sources, can lead to discomfort, eyestrain, and fatigue. High-quality lighting with good CRI provides consistent and pleasant illumination, reducing visual discomfort and promoting a more comfortable visual environment for older individuals.

  5. Mood and Well-being: Lighting quality, including colour rendering, can influence the mood and emotional well-being of individuals as they age. Natural and high-quality lighting with accurate colour rendering can create a positive, uplifting atmosphere and contribute to a sense of well-being. On the other hand, poor lighting with inaccurate colour rendering may lead to a dull or dreary environment, potentially affecting mood negatively.

  6. Sleep and Circadian Rhythm: Lighting quality, including colour temperature and spectrum, plays a role in regulating the body's circadian rhythm. For older individuals, maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle becomes increasingly important. Lighting with appropriate colour temperature and spectrum can support the synchronisation of the circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep quality and overall well-being.

In summary, good lighting quality, including accurate colour rendering, positively impacts older individuals by improving visual acuity, contrast perception, safety, visual comfort, mood, and overall well-being. It supports their visual needs, promotes safety, and contributes to a better quality of life as they age.