Lighting assessments are an important component of low-vision rehabilitation but are rarely studied systematically. Our study indicates that preferred lighting levels support improvements in reading ease and enjoyment, independently of the evaluation technique. To determine preferred illumination level and color temperature, the LuxIQ is quicker to administer and covers broad options of settings.
The purpose of this study was to determine if preferred lighting, as assessed by the LuxIQ versus a standard lighting assessment, leads to better reading outcomes in individuals with low vision.
Preferred lighting was assessed at home with visually impaired persons (mean age, 75.3 years), using the LuxIQ (n = 18) or a standard technique based on trying out light bulbs of various intensity and color temperature (n = 16). Maximum reading speed and reading acuity were measured before the lighting intervention and then under the preferred lighting conditions. A 1-month telephone follow-up evaluated the (1) compliance with the lighting recommendations and, for those who modified their lighting, (2) their level of satisfaction with the length of reading time and eye strain felt during reading.
Compared with usual lighting conditions, most participants preferred a cooler temperature at a higher illuminance level. Neither lighting assessment type appeared to lead to substantially improved objectively measurable reading outcomes. At the 1-month follow-up, 56% of the participants had modified their lighting, having a significant effect on satisfaction (P < .01), independent of assessment method. Of 18 respondents, 16 (87.5%) mentioned that reading was more enjoyable or easier with the lighting modifications.
Both lighting assessment methods lead to comparable results, but the LuxIQ is easier and faster to use. More research is needed to determine whether the LuxIQ is suitable to be incorporated into clinical practice.