Portable Lighting

Portable Lighting

Posted on Jul.15, 2016, under Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, Low Vision Tips

During a recent dinner outing to a favorite restaurant with my father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration, he sheepishly told us he couldn’t see well enough to figure out how to lock the bathroom door.   Just hours before the outing we gave him a flashlight that one wears on the wrist – just like a watch so that whenever the need arises, the powerful spot light is there to help.   When it comes to low vision aids, often it’s magnifiers that come to mind when many times, it’s extra direct lighting that is needed. One of the most common symptoms of age related macular degeneration is the need for more light.  If my father-in-law had worn the wrist flashlight, he could have beamed the bright LED light onto the lock to see how it operated.  A table lamp or overhead lighting doesn’t provide the needed direct lighting that some of these portable lighting gadgets can offer. Portable lighting can help in lots of dim light situations such as:

  • Plugging in an outlet
  • Scanning a bill
  • Reading a menu
  • Operating a microwave
  • Checking a prescription bottle
  • Changing the temperature on a thermostat
  • Adjusting the volume on a remote control
  • Selecting the desired can of soup in your pantry or grocery store
  • Figuring out the price on a price tag

Simply direct the light where it’s needed, whether it’s the outlet, the thermostat, or a menu and suddenly what was blurry and dim becomes visible and clear in bright light.  There are many types of portable lighting, some of which are hands free.  Almost all of them use LED lights which provide extra brightness. Different brightness settings of high, medium or low light levels are an option with some of these devices.   All of them of course require batteries.

Small LED Flashlight with a Lanyard

This is my father-in-law’s favorite portable lighting gadget.  He’ll wear the stubby flashlight at home around his neck and conveniently has extra light right at his fingertips.


Carry it in your purse or clip it on your pocket.   Have one in a designated spot in each room of the house.  It’s very lightweight with an intense light that will help you with any need for spot lighting.

Wrist worn flashlight

Wear it just like a watch.  Put it on in the morning so that it’s handy all day.  You won’t need to wonder where you last put down your flashlight because you will always have it with you.

Neck worn Light

This portable light is a flexible like tube that goes around your neck with a light on each end.  The light can be adjusted and directed where needed and is hands free.


While you may not want to wear a headlamp out in public, you will find lots of uses for it when you need hands free lighting when walking into dim light situations at home like a closet, pantry, basement, or a garage.  Some devices offer magnifying lenses combined with LED light for extra vision enhancement.   Check out some other ways to maximize your usable vision with enhanced lighting:


Low Vision Lighting Options

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN