Solution: Reading Light for Vision Problems

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: December 12, 2022.


The Problem: Can't Find Good Reading Light

Normal chairside floor or table lamps don’t offer easy adjustment of a lamp’s position, brightness, or warmness.

 .... More about the Problem


Solution: Reading Light for Vision Problems

A chairside floor lamp with a long adjustable gooseneck including a handheld remote with brightness and warmness for bright white to warm yellow light is a good solution for reading when you have vision imperfections. (see more about this light in our resources database)


Here is a quote from my aunt after using the light:

My son put the lamp together and positioned it next to my easy chair with the light over my head. I was amazed that I could now read the normal print in my National Geographic magazine!



Aunt on easy chair

Caption- Aunt on easy chair


Authors Light and easy chair

Caption- My own easy chair



Use Voice to Control the Light

While the lamp includes controls on the “stalk” as well as a remote control, it might be easier to use if you implemented voice controls from Alexa. Here are two ways to do this:


Approach One: Turn it On / Off with Voice

Use a smart outlet to turn on or turn off the lamp.

The lamp retains both the light intensity and warmness when it’s powered back on. If you only want to turn/off the light using your voice, you can just add a smart plug to Alexa.



Note, the light will always turn on after a power loss when the power is restored.



Approach Two: Change Lighting Levels and Color via Voice

If you are looking for a way to set different light scenes with your voice, you can add a BroadLink Remote Control Hub that will let you control the lamp setting with your voice from Alexa.


The first step is to setup the BroadLink hub using their instructions (User Manual).

  • When setting this up, please note that the lamp remote is RF, not IR. When you name the functions, they will become “scenes” to your Alexa smart home controller
  • Please note that when requesting any scene, the lamp must first be turned on through the “Power On/Off” scene which “toggles” the lamp power. In my case, I called that on/off scene “Magic Lamp”


In Alexa, the different light modes can be controlled by speaking the “scene name” in a voice command

  • “Alexa, turn on Magic Lamp Scene” (Turns on/off the lamp)
  • “Alexa, turn on Book Scene” (Sets light to reading level)

You can simplify these verbal commands using “custom actions” or include them in timed or motion-driven Alexa Routines.

You can also add an easy to hold BroadLink 4-button remote. See the BroadLink button and hub setup instructions



Caption- Lamp Remotes




Kit List






Sample Alexa Routines

If you choose to use the BroadLink hub, please note that the Alexa Routine “action” is a BroadLink “scene”, not a smart home device



Caption- button routine



More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 



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Target customers & users: 
Aging individuals, Uncategorized or Other
How important is it?: 
Moderate problem
Key words: