North Dakota Assistive

ND Assistive | Assistive Technology Blog

Light Your World

Over the years, household lighting has been rather generic and conventional – the standard 60W lamp bulb, recessed lighting, and motion lights. Many lighting options literally depend on the use of mobility and dexterity. As you look around your home or office, would the lighting controls be readily accessible for a person in a wheelchair, a child, or someone who may have limited gross or fine motor skills? Thankfully the ever-changing world of smart technology is allowing for lighting to be more accessible. Bluetooth light bulbs are giving people the power to control the lighting in their respective environments without requiring direct contact. With the use of an iPad or smartphone, the possibilities of lighting are endless! Although there are many types and brands of Bluetooth light bulbs, the following video will give you a sense of how they work.

ilumi Bluetooth Light Bulb

Here are a few ideas on how this technology can be applied to assist various users. In the words of the developers of the ilumi Smartbulb ~ “Live your light!”.

Alarms / Signaling

The alarm clock of a smartphone can be connected to the light bulbs. Example: when the morning alarm goes off, the lights will also turn on. Also, similar to the function of a Sonic Alert telephone signaler, the lights have the ability to change colors with an incoming telephone call. Adding light to an auditory signal is helpful for a person with any type of hearing loss.


In certain situations, creating the false sense of a presence in the home is necessary. Whether it be someone on vacation or a person with limited mobility in the home, Bluetooth light bulbs have the ability to turn on/off at specific scheduled times. For instance, if someone is in their bed for the evening beginning at 7:00 pm, they may want their living room light to turn on at 8:45 pm and off again at 9:00 pm.


Some of these smart bulbs have the ability to know the proximity of someone in their own home. As the video showed, a person can be walking down a hallway, and the lights will automatically turn on and off. This is a powerful feature for a person that may be in a wheelchair or someone in need of more safety as they walk throughout their house.

Further Reading

Brighter Light Isn’t Always Better!

Task Lighting is local and close lighting used for longer durations during a specific activity.  Some task lighting activities can include writing checks, reading a book, reading the mail, and sewing...

3 Easy Ways To Add a Light Switch

  Turning on lights is an activity that we all take part in on a daily basis. Recently I assisted an individual who has arthritis and he was depending on others to turn lamps on or just leaving...

Motion Activated Light Saves the Day!

I received a call from an anxious daughter. She had two fears: 1) her mother would burn the house down; 2) her mother would fall off the ladder in the garage and seriously injure herself. After listening...

Look to AT to Enhance Low Vision

Over 3.3 million Americans over the age of 40 have low vision. IPAT staff hears from them, their family members, and service providers frequently as they search for ways to do every-day tasks differently....

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