The human eye is one the most incredible designs known to man. In order for the eye to function, light is required to reflect off of objects and enter the eye.
Although, AdaptiVision, Inc. has been primarily involved with providing adaptive technology to help people with low vision, I often like to start out by addressing lighting first for those that are struggling with significant visual impairments. Prior to my involvement with low vision, I worked for a fiber optic lighting company. We produced lighting solutions for many interesting applications which included microscopy, photography and dental applications. One of my favorite projects was to provide a new lighting design for the Hope Diamond Display at the Smithsonian Institute. Although the Hope Diamond is a magnificent gem to see, it is only spectacular visually only because of the light reflecting from this astonishing jewel! Without adequate lighting, the Hope Diamond is reduced to a big stone!
We were also involved in developing lighting for robotic quality control. . One of my roles was to present papers to automotive engineers on how to evenly light shiny metal parts for robotic inspection in automotive manufacturing. For a camera on the end of a robotic arm to effectively see defects on a shiny part, it is essential that the lighting is well-positioned and the issue of glare is adequately dealt with. In addition to positioning lighting at the proper angles, we used diffusers and polarizer’s to deal with the issue of glare.
23 years ago, I left that job that involved lighting for robotics and got involved with providing adaptive technology solutions for people with low vision. I enjoy people much more than robots! The first thing that hit me like a ton of bricks, was that we were doing a more scientific and effective job providing lighting for robots than we do for people that struggle with their vision. Although this has improved somewhat, we still do not pay adequate attention to lighting solutions for the low vision population.
As we get older, we need significantly more light in order to see. The problem is compounded even more in the life of a person with a significant visual impairment such as macular degeneration.
Good lighting is the most important yet often neglected area in the life of a person with low vision. It’s not necessarily the quantity of light that enables a person to see better but the quality of light. What is needed is uniform lighting that produces little glare. For example a person with macular degeneration who goes outside on a bright sunny day will typically struggle to see because of the glare produced by extremely intense and harsh lighting. Going outside on a bright overcast day typically provides good lighting for a person with AMD, because the clouds act as diffusers providing much more even softer, lightning.
Good quality task lighting that can be easily positioned, emits even, diffuse light over a large field is essential for a person with low vision. AdaptiVision is passionate about helping people with low vision achieve more independence. It is imperative that we begin with lighting. For that reason, AdaptiVision has decided to provide the very best lighting solutions available to people with low vision. Many of these solutions involve the latest in LED lighting from Stella Lighting and Daylight Lighting.