Hospitals have dynamic lighting requirements for various rooms and working areas. Bearing in mind that they operate 24/7 and follow illumination regulations for each area, lighting is critical in the building, operation, and upkeep of hospitals and health facilities. Still, lighting affects the healing of patients and the productivity of workers.
Therefore, lighting for hospitals and health facilities needs to be reliable, purpose-driven for various facilities, easy to maintain, control, clean, install, and overall available day and night without fail. Lighting also needs to be scalable with minimum disruptions.
The location and size of the hospital or health facility determine its lighting needs. Remote hospitals and health centers tend to demand less lighting.
Simplicity in the navigation of smart lighting systems is equally necessary because hospitals are busy places with different people who require varied lighting.
The Needs of Consumers and Lighting Benefits.
Workers’ morale and patients’ well-being can be affected by LED lighting, according to studies. The lighting level and thermostats for smart room temperature management to the comfort of the occupants.
The use of bright lighting greatly improves patients’ spirits. In addition, studies show that patients recovering from surgery in sunny rooms require fewer analgesics. Studies also show that maintaining a consistent lighting intensity level significantly reduces the irritability and disruptive behavior of Alzheimer’s patients.
Total joint replacement surgery appears to benefit from ultraviolet lighting, which has been shown to reduce infection risk. There are other specific clinical procedures for which light can be employed, from jaundice recognition, skin lesions, to performing an assortment of diagnostic tests. Additionally, there are several therapeutic advantages of light.
People with mental health issues have been found to recover more quickly when staying in sunny rooms while in the hospital. Light from the sun aids in the healing process of patients-patients in dull rooms stayed 2.6 days longer after their hospitalized counterparts in sunny rooms were discharged.
Nurses, physicians, and general hospital staff labor day and night and are often short-staffed and overwhelmed. Lighting interoperability, therefore, needs to be effortless.
They also need energy-inducing lighting to reduce fatigue and increase productivity, yet bright enough to see well for precise treatment and diagnosis. Workers on the night shift are happier when exposed to red light rather than blue or white light.
Different Light Settings for Different Rooms: Examples
Before discussing the requirements of different hospital settings, we define different terminologies.
Illumination or light intensity refers to the total light amount on a surface area. Manufacturers use lux to show the lumens per square foot, and the light requirements go by it.
For example, the light requirement in surgery and operation areas is 1000 lux to 2000 lux and 300 lux to 1000 watts for the theatre room. Lobby areas only require 50 lux, while waiting areas need double lux, 100. Laboratories require 500 lux, and patients wards 300 watts.
The Colour Rendering Index, abbreviated as CRI, is the best natural view of an object. It is measured between zero and 100, where proximity to 100 is preferred. Recovery rooms and operation rooms need a CRI of 90, while the waiting area, observation, and general lit areas should have a CRI of 80.
The Colour temperature, which is the warmth or cold of an environment, is gauged and expressed in Kelvins.
· In-room or ward lighting for patients
More than half of a hospital’s usable floor space is taken up by the patients’ rooms. Patient room lighting is critical and must meet the requirements of both patients and medical and nursing staff.
In addition, the overall lighting effect should be such that it accentuates the hospital’s general lighting, and is not glaring or flickering, which is annoying to a recovering patient.
· Lighting for Nurses and Medical Staff
Nurses and physicians should be able to carry out their daily duties with this lighting; reading a thermometer, pulling medication in a syringe, locating a vein, or sketching a chart beside the patient’s bed. Nursing stations should be lit to a minimum of 150-300 lux as recommended.
· Patients’ Access to Proper Lighting
Lighting should be soft and warm and able to meet the specific needs of patients. 100 lux is satisfactory for patients, nurses, and physicians. Additional lights at the bedside could also accentuate lights for aesthetics.
· Lighting for Examinations
In some cases, an examination light capable of producing 1000 lux or more is needed to examine the patient in the ward. Such situations necessitate using a portable examination light source appended to a wall socket near the patient’s bedside, rather than a separate examination lamp that would be used less often.
· Lighting for the Night
At night, the wards must not be left in complete darkness. A nurse at the working station should make sure everything is alright by looking around the room quickly and easily. Patients able to move around should also be able to use the restroom. 1 lux is reasonable and bright enough for the night.
Power Consumption and LED Lighting in Hospitals
Hospitals and health facilities’ power consumption is on the higher side, having that they operate non-stop. LED lighting is preferred because it is energy efficient. Smart lighting systems are also being adopted by hospitals today.
LED lights are preferred over incandescent bulbs because they can change the color of the light to provide human-centric lighting in line with circadian rhythms. Color rendering, precise light direction, and scene customization are all appealing features of these devices.
In addition, they take up little space and can be incorporated into the design of furniture or architecture. LED lights also save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and lower total lighting costs because of their low functioning and upkeep costs.
The activities in each hospital area or room necessitate a different lighting solution, which applies to both patients and staff. The location and amount of light are critical, but the lights’ cost, installation, and maintenance. Overall lighting affects the performance and efficiency of staff and the comfort of both patients and medical personnel.