Key Factors in Planning Hospital Lighting
Pillars of Success – Hospital Lighting
Pillar 1: Optimal Lighting
Good light levels make it possible for medical facility staff to maintain a sanitary environment. Fixtures must be installed to illuminate even the hardest-to-see dirt-catching areas, like doorframes, casework, and finish transition, so that they can be cleaned and maintained. Lights must also be installed to illuminate all walking areas in order to provide safe access to all parts of the facility. Hospitals are high-visibility and see a great deal of traffic from people of all abilities, so it is of the utmost importance that all areas, especially those that house sensitive information, expensive equipment, and medicine, are well-lit.
Pillar 2: Energy Efficiency
Lighting can be planned and installed to improve energy efficiency. Hospitals require a large number of individual lamps, bulbs, signs, and other fixtures and often operate 24/7. Therefore, they utilize a lot of energy. In fact, more than 10% of energy consumed by hospitals is attributed to lighting. Working with a commercial lighting specialist to replace existing lighting with energy-efficient options is a great way for a healthcare organization to reduce its carbon footprint.
Pillar 3: Reduced Operations Costs
Hospitals that use less energy can expect to see savings on energy costs over time. LEDs, for example, require less energy to operate, need less maintenance, and do not need to be replaced nearly as often as traditional bulbs. When used consistently, they can save 348 TWH of power across 15 years and burn between 25,000 and 50,000 hours. Replacing fixtures with energy-efficient options, such as LEDs, can save a hospital thousands of dollars every year in product replacement costs and in maintenance savings from less lamp changes.
How Lighting Impacts Patients and Staff
According to one study, proper lighting in patient rooms increases biological effects on patient wellbeing and helps the body secrete melatonin during nighttime hours. High quality lighting types with high Ra and color temperature similar to daylight levels, such as neutral white, promote feelings of calmness. Additionally, accessible lamps and other bedside illumination can help maintain a safe environment for patients, especially those who might be having mobility challenges. Another study found that when patients are able to adjust the lighting in their rooms, it promotes a healthful circadian rhythm, especially when rooms are equipped with blue-rich lighting. It also determined that LED lighting during the day can stimulate the perception of natural daylight in medical facility guests, which positively affects their sense of wellbeing.
It is equally important for doctors, nurses, and other staff to be able to see clearly while working with patients. The Center for Health and Design published a 2006 study which found that lighting improves the adjustment to nightshift work for hospital staff and that good lighting promotes alertness and better work performance. A balanced combination of natural and artificial light is critical for the health and welfare of both patients and staff in healthcare settings.
Hospital Turn-Key Projects
Adequate lighting is vital when it comes to hospital settings. Patients and staff are constantly coming and going and extremely important work is conducted at all times of day. Medical facilities can also benefit from the use of LED fixtures that radiate UV light, which has disinfecting qualities. Lighting must be dependable and thoughtfully planned.
Hospital areas that must be considered when planning turn-key projects include:
- Reception areas and lobbies
- Waiting rooms
- Hospital rooms
- Corridors and hallways
- Exterior walkways
- Parking lots and garages