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consumer body Which? that assessed energy saving light bulbs for brightness and speed of start-up.


 

LIGHT BULBS Older people and those with sight loss can now get up to date, easy to read information. Getting the right lighting is crucial for older people and

especially those with sight loss. The sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust and independent consumer research charity, Rica (Research Institute for Consumer Affairs) have updated an essential guide to buying energy saving light bulbs with Best Buy recommendations from Which?.

your home provides useful information for everyone about buying energy saving bulbs. It has information about bulb types, colour of the light emitted, start-up times and types of fittings. The guide also recommends some Best Buys from independent tests carried out by

The guide, Choosing energy saving light bulbs for 

• • • 

The guide explains lumens which denote the brightness of the bulb and are more important to look for than the old measurement of wattage. The guide

BEST BUY ENERGY SAVING LIGHT BULBS - Older people and those with sight loss can now get up to date, easy to read information

    

• •

recommends the ideal lumens for specific areas of the home; at least 1200 on the stairs for example, but only up to 250 when fitted under kitchen cabinets. It has useful tips for buying light bulbs including:

• work out what you need before you shop and write it down if necessary

go to a specialist electrical shop if you can     

   

 

don’t shop by brand as it’s not the best indicator of what you need.

The guide is available online at You can obtain a print booklet, send a self-

  

   Rica Research: in-car technology –

keeping older drivers safe and mobile? Increasingly in-car technology is taking a more active role in assisting safe driving. There are now numerous systems to help us make informed ‘safe’ choices when driving, and where we need a little more help they will take control and provide it. With fully autonomous cars a declared target by some manufacturers by 2020, there is an energy and pace behind these. What is the impact of these technologies today? What do we know about their usability? Who do they help the most? Mobility is a fundamental mainstay of our independence, an independence which in later life is increasingly encouraged by both governments and individuals alike. Rica has started a research project to understand the role that in-car technologies might take in keeping older drivers safe on our roads. This research is funded through Motability and GEM Motoring Assist and is divided into two parts. The first part reviews the current landscape of in-car technologies and their context of use, whilst the second part is concerned with usability studies of this technology with older people. Choosing the time to stop driving rarely comes as a complete shock to the older motorist, the gradual decline in a person’s awareness and reaction times will probably be noted. This is often accompanied by driving strategies put in place to keep safe such as only driving in the daylight or avoiding busy times of day. This seems like an eminently sensible approach to take, especially since it provides a way to drive safely, minimise risk and keep a certain amount of independence. An important question that is being asked of these new and emerging in-car technologies is: do these technologies help older people drive more safely? Rica is interested in asking people who are over 55 years old some questions about, their attitudes towards and knowledge of, in-car technology.

  

If you are over 55 and would like to help us with this research go to the Rica website: or phone us on 020 7427 2460. The online survey should only take 15 to 20 minutes.

The results will help inform our further work with users and technology. 38 Ability Needs Magazine

addressed large (A4) envelope with 69p in stamps to Rica, Unit G03 The Wenlock, 50-52 Wharf Road, London N1 7EU Telephone: 020 7427 2460 or Email: For audio-cd or braille formats: phone Thomas Pocklington Trust on 020 8995 0880 or email

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