Window Treatment to Assist People with Low Vision

Natural light is important for circadian cycles of life and is important to incorporate into an interior space. Circadian rhythms are built-in and self-sustained to each of us, they are adjusted to the local environment by external cues which include light, temperature, and biological cycles. Every day the light in an interior space alters as the sun moves across the sky. The correct window dressing will allow the light to be filtered to suit the occupant’s visual needs.

A clock face with notations. Noon 12:00. At 14:30 Best coordination. At 15:30 Fastest reaction time. 17:00 Greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength. At 18:30 Highest blood pressure. At 19:00 Highest body temperature. At 21:00 Melatonin secretion starts. At 22:30 Bowel movement suppressed. 0.00 midnight. 02:00 Deepest sleep. 4:30 Lowest body temperature. 06 ;45 Sharpest rise in blood pressure. 07:30 melatonin secretion stops. 08:30 Bowel movement likely. 09:00 Highest testosterone secretion. 10:00 High alertness.
Circadian Rhythms – Internal Body Cock

An open plan layout with many windows lets in the most light. Interior window coverings are, however, required for privacy, filtering light, heat control, glare, and acoustics properties within an interior environment. Windows assist people with low vison to orientate themselves and to form a mind map of the interior space. For example in a bathroom: standing in the doorway facing into the bathroom, on the left hand side is the bath, a window at the end of the bath opposite the doorway, the wash hand basin and toilet to the right of the window.

Some types of interior window dressing components:

Pinch pleat
Box pleat
Sheer fabric

Venetian horizontal blinds Roman
Roll up
Block out
Plantation shutters

Accessories to window dressing
Curtain rods and finials
Valances, swags, scarves, and cornices
Tie backs/Holdback
Curtain hooks
Curtain rings

There is a full height window with full length yellow curtains. The wall is painted a dark, pastel blue colour. There is a single wooden frame chair with pale lilac fabric finish.
Interior View of Window in Sitting Area
On the right of the picture are floor to ceiling length, curtains. The three colours are white, medium grey and acid yellow at the bottom of the curtain. On the left of the image are acid yellow cushions on the bed.
Bedroom with Broad Band Colour Striped Curtains
Exterior view of orange and white awning over a window which has shutters on either side of the window. There is an orange, two seater bench with orange cushions. The bench is in front of the window.
Exterior window treatment

External Light Filters

Window tinting film adheres to window panels as an almost invisible layer. Each film type offers unique properties. For example: energy saving, reduces heat absorption, insulation, sound reduction, and safety.

External window solutions for controlling light include: shutters, awnings, and slatted aluminium roof gazebos.

Identifying the purpose of the window dressing will determine the correct solution for the occupants. The general rule of thumb for curtaining is to select a colour one or two shades lighter or darker than the wall colour. This will not assist people with low vision as the room will appear to be one colour without any defining colour contrasts (Quantify contrast in colour, 21 May 2020). Rather select a contrasting colour because, whether the curtains are open or closed, there is a landmark to use for orientation. The properties a fabric can offer are considerable, for example: a blind fabric from Solmark awning fabric from Dickensons UK Europe can dispose, absorb, and reflect / rays. Consider the person who opens and closes the curtains/blinds. Is the task completed by the person with low vision, a remote control, a smartphone, Alexa, or a Google device?

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