Maybe its because I have yet another birthday in a few days time and the numbers are starting to get embarrassing; or perhaps its because of the constant Covid drumbeat that I belong to that Cohort of The Vulnerable – but I find myself getting more and more sensitive to anything to do with AGE.
Look: as far as I’m concerned, ‘age’ only belongs in two categories, and that’s wine and cheese.
So here’s the thing that I’d like to tug on your coat sleeve about:
For some malevolent reason, the Gods of Mischief have included in my news feed a review of the Dyson Lightcycle Morph from Pocket-lint (no – me neither). Now, The Light Review reviewed this at the beginning of this year (Product review: Dyson Lightcycle Morph – the title says everything that you need to know), but I still got drawn in, just to see if there was anyone out there who thinks this adjustable desk light is worth the £500 price tag.
Straight out of the traps, the Pocket-lint review picks up on the ‘age’ thing. Under the ‘It’ll give you the right type of light’ heading we read, ‘It’ll even ask you how old you are when you set it up, too. Yes, you guessed it – it’ll deliver stronger light for older people, whether they’re working away or simply reading to wind-down in the evening.’
(Cautionary note: I’ve heard of this feature before and if you search for ‘Dyson Lightcycle Morph age-related’ you will find references to it that lead to the Dyson site; there just doesn’t seem to be anything on the site itself that supports such a claim.)
The assumption has to be that the DLM (sorry, but I can’t be arsed to type out the whole damned title every time) is capable of responding to the data that you provide via the App and make the light brighter, the older you are. This would make it a very clever machine, but – again, as far as I can see – maybe there’s a secret light factory inside the LED engine. This expensive little bugger has a stated maximum output in the neighbourhood of 850lm, and that’s a very respectable neighbourhood (excuse the plagiarising of Donald Ogden Stewart there), but its not exactly special for an LED task light.
Maybe – and it’s a very small maybe – the DLM only provides 850lm to old people like me and ramps DOWN its output for those poor souls who haven’t yet reached age 40. Again – no, me neither.
How about this: the continual message about ‘older people’, that our eyesight becomes so poor that we need four times as much light as ‘normally-sighted people’, is a nonsense.
Not really about Dyson
This article isn’t really about Dyson; its about a developing issue around lighting for health and wellbeing and appropriate illuminance levels for an ageing population. The SLL is in on this one as well. In Lighting Guide 2: Healthcare Premises’ we have:
‘It is worth noting that when designing for the visual requirements within the health care sector there is likely to be a greater number of elderly people whose vision will be impaired with age . . . consideration should be given to the expected activities of this group and appropriate illumination level selected.’
Bearing in mind that some of those ‘elderly people’ will be the professional people going about their everyday business and not just a bunch a crumblies playing bingo, I think we need to work a bit harder to understand what’s actually going on.
As far as I have seen – and at my age I’ve seen a lot – this ’age-related visual impairment’ does not require any additional illumination at all. What it needs is eyesight correction – usually called spectacles.
Yes, of course, there are those who really do suffer some form of visual impairment that DOES require additional lighting . . . but let’s not get into the mindset that we need to elevate normal working illuminance levels above 1000 Lux just to keep the tribal elders happy in our decrepitude. We’re looking after ourselves very well, thank you.