Lighting design in hospitals is a complex and challenging task. The right hospital lighting will help manage a hospital’s cost and will provide the best environment for patients to recover and staff to work. Lighting have specific impact on patients’ mood and even their perception of pain. This article is chock full of tips for more effective lighting for the benefit of patients and staff in addition to ways to cut costs.
Hospital Lighting Overview
Lighting can play a significant role in the mood of patients. A study found that on average, hospital patients are exposed to about 105 lux daily, which is a very low lighting level. At this level of light, many patients had problems with sleeping since our bodies need a minimum of 1,500 lux for 15 minutes per day in order to maintain a normal cycle. According to this study, patients’ sleep was “fragmented and low.” Also, patients felt depressed and fatigued during their stay in hospital. Of course, staying in a hospital is not an easy experience for anyone, but the researchers found that patients’ exposure to very low light levels increased feelings of depression.
One way to save energy and cut hospital lighting costs is to use LED wherever appropriate including LED exit signs. LEDs use very little energy. In comparison with CFLs, they use less than a third energy and seven times less energy than incandescent lighting fixtures. It is also recommended to replace older T12 or T8 technologies with Super T8 lighting fixtures. The Super T8 lighting fixture reduces energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent. They also reduce flicker and noise compared to magnetic ballasts.
Although many hospitals raise awareness about the importance of turning off lights when the room is not in use, low and high-tech solutions for controlling lighting are very effective. By incorporating daylighting controls in patient rooms and public areas with big windows, you can save energy. Energy savings without affecting patient care and room functionality are also achieved by integrating controls with continuous dimming. Further, installing occupancy sensors in spaces that are usually unoccupied like restrooms, stairwells and service areas are also helping hospitals save energy.
Finally, daylighting is something you should also consider. In combination with energy-efficient lighting, daylighting can lower power density in office spaces from 2.2 W per square foot to 0.88 W per square foot. Also, daylight produces less heat than articial lights and it also reduces cooling loads when properly controlled.
Hospitals are not easy to illuminate properly. According to some studies, patients do not receive enough lighting in their rooms, which can influence a patient’s mood. Hospitals need to take manage their energy costs. If you follow hospital lighting best practices and implement some of the strategies outlined in this article, you will reduce overhead while improving patient health outcomes.