Steven Fazenbaker


Low vision readers often use high powered magnification devices with short focal distances. Because they must place their heads close to the text, additional lighting often must be used. Our preliminary research has shown that electroluminescent (EL) lamps can provide such lighting for persons who employ 8X-20X magnification when reading. Because EL lamps have an extremely thin profile, it is possible to place one between the low vision reader and the printed page without restricting the reader's ability to get close to the page. In addition, EL lamps remain cool to the touch, provide even illumination, are portable, and produce almost no IR or UV radiation. Electroluminescent (EL) light technology shows great promise in overcoming the problem of illuminating reading material for persons using high magnification. Three configurations have been developed. One configuration is designed to clip onto a pair of spectacles. The second is inserted into a stand magnifier. The third is used to provide backlighting while filling out forms. A prototype unit had been constructed. A 9-volt battery and a solid-state inverter produce 120VAC at 400Hz to energize the lamp. This is the voltage and frequency specified by the EL lamp manufacturers. Although the low wattage produced by the 120VAC power supply is completely safe, it is capable of producing an unpleasant shock in the event of damage. For this reason, an attempt is being made to produce equal illumination by decreasing the voltage and increasing the frequency of the power supply. The investigators will replace the 9-volt battery with a battery that has a higher amp-hour capacity/size ratio.


Year: 1992

Program Number: 1:30 pm

Author Affiliation: n/a

Co-Authors: Gale Watson

Co-Author Affiliation: n/a

Room: Scotland B