This paper discusses a proposed 24-hr lighting scheme for older adults that can positively impact the aging visual,
circadian and perceptual systems. New lighting was installed in eight private rooms in an assisted living facility.
Measurements of residents’ sleep quality and circadian rest-activity patterns were obtained, before and after the new lighting
was installed. Consistent with predictions based upon previous research, the subjects who completed the study showed
an improvement in sleep quality and rest/activity rhythms under the new 24-hr lighting scheme. In addition, all study participants
reported a strong preference for the 24-hr lighting. The new lighting not only provides older adults with good
lighting for performing their routine visual tasks, but also promotes high circadian light stimulation during the day and
low circadian light stimulation at night. Although not studied here, but also discussed as part of the 24-hr lighting scheme,
is the impact of a previously studied, novel night-light system that provides older adults with enhanced perceptual cues for
nighttime navigation within the room. The new 24-hr lighting scheme appears to have important practical implications for
improving the quality of life for seniors and will hopefully be adopted by architects, lighting specifiers and engineers.