Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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How can I avoid falling when I get up in the middle of the night?

When your eyes are adapted to the darkness, bright lights can be uncomfortable, but you still need to avoid objects in your path, see light switches, and perhaps find things. You have several ways to improve your comfort, safety, and ability to see at night:

  • Keep a flashlight near your bed.
  • Use nightlights. Select a fixture to leave on all night near your bedroom that provides low light levels.
  • Mark the path between the bed and bathroom with one or more plug-in nightlights. These are commonly available with a photosensor that turns the light on automatically at night.
  • Install light switches with toggles that glow in the dark. Place switches where you can reach them easily from your bed.
  • Use a motion sensor in your hallway to the bathroom to turn on a low-brightness fixture automatically.
  • Plug in nightlights can help you find your way safely at night. You can find light switches in the dark if they have illuminated toggles.

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