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Living with Deafblindness


Additional illumination and contrast provided through the use of good lighting for close work such as reading, writing, crafts, artwork etc will assist people who have dual sensory loss to maintain independence.
Improvements to lighting and contrast can make it easier to see.

Improving the quality of light can be achieved by making use of natural lighting where possible.

Alternatively, task lighting, using lamps with flexible arms will enable the light source to be angled and directed much closer to the task increasing the level and spread of light  significantly in comparison to light directed from the ceiling or from wall lights.

Task lighting can be purchased from many department stores, office equipment stores, craft stores and specialist organisations providing services to people with vision impairment.

When choosing globes to lamps there are options such as daylight globes that add to the quality of light by simulating daylight.  When choosing task lighting consider how close you are going to position yourself to the lamp, fluorescent tube lighting and a plastic cover may be a preferred option being cooler to touch,  avoiding risks such as burns to the facial area or hands.

Other options for lighting include pocket torches, or small lights with an LED light that can be carried in the pocket, a handbag or attached to a key-ring. Many mobile phones also have an inbuilt torch.


Choice of a lamp will depend on how it will be used. A floor standing lamp is less portable and therefore likely to be positioned in a place in the room that is used more frequently. Other lamps are more portable and can be used at a desk or table. Features to consider:

  • Choice of bulbs – fluorescent tube will spread light more evenly; some bulbs simulate natural light to reduce glare
  • Type of shade, eg a plastic light shade will be cooler to touch when used for longer periods avoiding the risk of burns if brought close to face
  • Flexibility of arm – lighting levels will be increased the closer the light source can be brought to the task
  • Clamps for fixing to desktops
  • Static or portable options

Magnifying Lamps

Magnifying lamps – dual purpose of providing additional light whilst magnifying print, doing craftwork or other close tasks. Generally magnifying lamps are limited in the strength of magnification and therefore may not be suitable for people with severe vision impairment

Other Lighting Options

Many mobile phones have an inbuilt torch; these and small torches or key ring torches can be useful for directing light when out and about or for example when locating a key into a lock.