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Condominium Lighting - Lighting your Condo at Any Age

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By : Andy Asbury    99 or more times read
In my articles, I often write about the attraction of condo life to the youngest generation. The young are motivated to live in desirable neighborhoods while immersing themselves in their careers, free of lawn care, snow removal, roof or gutter maintenance. However, interestingly this housing lifestyle also appeals to the older generations. This includes early retirees, ready to take life a little easier. It also includes the elderly who can no longer manage steps or may not be able to drive.

To help build some bridges between them, in this article I will cover condo lighting as it affects the age groups a little differently. Some of the tips can apply to anyone.

20-SOMETHINGS For many young people, the notion of home lighting is invisible. The “Millennial” generation currently has the great luxury of taking light for granted. Natural, task, ambient, accent lighting—the young may not know or be interested in the differences because they can see fine with any amount of light. They should enjoy and appreciate this! Over the months and years, they could save considerable energy costs if they learn how to consume the amount of light they need, and only that amount.

On the other hand, plenty of young people are near-sighted. The National Eye Institute (NEI) reports that the prevalence of myopia (nearsightedness) has increased 66 percent between 1972 and 2004. Currently, 33.1 percent of Americans are nearsighted, irrespective of age.

At this point, condo dwellers become affected because they typically only have windows and natural light along one, or at most two, sides of their home. In one practical example, they may not be able to get away with using only a laptop computer because they will need larger screens to view text accurately. This when space is at a premium!

Tip: if you are nearsighted, check the power settings on your computer. Computer manufacturers often set default settings to balance power conservation and performance. However, if you are using your laptop at home, it makes sense to change this to “high power” so that your screen always will be as bright as possible.

SENIORS The fact of the matter is, older people need much more light than younger ones. Therefore, the natural-lighting limitations of a condo will present more challenges. One exception to this is loft condos where one huge floor-to-ceiling window can fill a home with ambient light. If you are a senior and can navigate steps comfortably, you may want to consider this option.

Farsightedness, or the ability to focus up close, often affects seniors. For the farsighted, desk lamps are preferable to table lamps with open shades because all of the light can be directed to the reading material or other item requiring scrutiny.

Sometimes age-related vision loss can become more severe. Seniors over 60 become more susceptible to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease characterized by increasingly blurry vision. The NEI predicts that by 2020, there will be nearly 3 million Americans with AMD compared to 2 million today. This is attributable to the aging of the American population. The same trend also signals future increased demand for condos, which in most ways are much more accessible than other homes.

For additional general tips, I recommend the lighting chapter in Cheryl Mendelson’s book Home Comforts.
Andy Asbury has a unique team of lofts and condos REALTORs® specializing inMinneapolis condos and lofts offering sound advice to clients. His team shares in-depth information onMinneapolis condos and lofts online at Andy's team specializes in luxury condominum high rises likethe Carlyle Minneapolis and Grant Park Condominiums.

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