Through the summer and fall of 2016 I volunteered weekly at a local assisted care center for older adults. I spent time with the residents and caregivers, talking with them to understand their lives. Learning that falls are the leading cause of death of older adults, I worked with them to design a lighting system that could guide them at night and prevent falls. The result is a smart lighting system designed for seniors but intuitive for people of all ages.



Honorable Mention IHA 2017

70% of accidental deaths among older adults are

the result of falls.1

"Many of these falls take place at night."2

Older people often sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night.1

"This can cause an increase of interior mobility with age."2

Based on our research we aimed to design a smart

lighting system for older adults to prevent falls.

initial thinking

How can we put lighting right where we need it?

How can we make a smart connected device intuitive?

How can we prevent sleep disturbance?

to design with, not for

We worked closely with our user.

While working on this project I was volunteering at a community for older adults, getting insights from them throughout the process.


We designed Polaris so the user does not have to fumble with switches or apps; there is no need for the user to carry a light, which could be difficult to grip and can be dropped in the dark; and each part is large enough to be handled comfortably by older adults during setup.


We designed Polaris with our users.


the Polaris product family

outlet light

table light

wall light

exploded view

Polaris lights the way without causing glare or disorientation.

motion sensor can turn lights on and notify surrounding units

angled down to

prevent glare

cool light during the day,

warm light at night

wall light plugs into

outlet light here

When you need light, Polaris is already there.

Anticipate destination

Lights at your destination are on before you reach them, so your eyes need not adjust.


Auto-on / Auto-off

Lights turn on as they are approached and dim as they are passed. No physical interaction is necessary.


Illuminates gently

Polaris gently fades on and off, it won't causing blinding or disorientation when activated.

Let Polaris be

your guide.

Copyright © 2017    Austin Ledzian