Lighting fixtures and equipment in hospitals are required to enhance the experience of patients and help the staff deliver a high standard of medical care. Additionally, they should meet the requirements of special health areas within the hospital, to facilitate the variety of services offered throughout the day.
Clinics and hospitals require fixtures that are low-flicker or flicker-free to ensure the safety of patients and other visitors who suffer from seizures or epilepsy that is photosensitive, particularly in stairwells and other risky fall locations. The majority of clinics and hospitals are sensitive to noise and disturbance and therefore it is important to choose fixtures that can be set up quickly and effortlessly in the words of Jeff Hungarter, director of indoor lighting at Cree Lighting, Durham, N.C.
Lighting products for engineering in healthcare settings have compliance issues, as well as compliance considerations, according to Les Kaminski, vice president of product management and operations for Waldmann Lighting, Wheeling, Ill. “Our Derungs lighting products maintain all medical certifications necessary for safe use in a hospital,” the company’s vice president declares. “We also source materials that are durable enough to hold up to the rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures required.”
The revolution in LED
The great news for health facilities is that medical device manufacturers have come up with many different new ideas.
For example, light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures are commonly used in hospitals across the world today. The requirements for lumens have grown and the lifetime of LEDs that are high-quality has been extended to 80.000 hours. “Exam lighting fixture footprints are becoming smaller and more ergonomic, while hospital facility lighting is being controlled by systems that provide energy efficiency metrics,” Kaminski declares.
Initially it was believed that lighting fixtures with LEDs’ performance in comparison to fluorescent lamps and high-intensity discharge (HID) were not that dissimilar in terms of effectiveness. However, the cost that was initially an obstacle, has continued to fall and so has the durability and effectiveness of LEDs in the words of Josh Linenberger, vice president at Atrius Applied Solution Sales, Acuity Brands Inc., Atlanta.
“The lower price points and increased efficacy have resulted in a considerable difference from the prior generation of products; there is a better return on investment, which is making a stronger case for the conversion to LED,” Linenberger states. “The enhanced durability of drivers and LEDs has opened up the market for high-end fixtures. Acuity Brands is seeing more expansion in this market.”
LED fixtures are now the new standard of design lighting projects in the field of health care due to the design and function as well as the budget of the latest LED products as per Sally Lee, business development manager at Ledvance GmbH, Wilmington, Mass., maker of Sylvania general lighting for Canada and the United States and Canada. “There no advancement that’s not LED and medical equipment design. The design of lighting beginning with the source of light isn’t changed much even though the source is included in the fixtures.”
Lighting design for health care facilities requires a meticulous process for lighting specifications that are in line with the requirements of the project’s owner which include maintenance and budget. “One challenge of fully integrating LED fixtures into health care facilities is the question of lighting maintenance, because it’s no longer a matter of simply changing out lightbulbs, especially if rooms must be decommissioned in order to prevent exposing patients to pollutants,” Lee says.
Many LED fixtures in the market in the present have been modified to meet the specific features of the lighting source. These fixtures offer efficient lighting that is controlled and are able to direct more light away from the source, as per Nishad Chikhliker who is the lighting segment and commercialization manager at Connected Buildings in Eaton, Peachtree City, Ga. “LED provides excellent color rendering and a consistent color of white light throughout the facility, along with energy efficiency and the ability to meet building codes and green building initiatives,” He says.
LED fixtures can provide greater light and energy efficiency with lower power consumption and produce less heat Controllability and less maintenance needs. “As the technology has advanced, many people feel more comfortable with LED because the light appears brighter, has better color and produces a more uniform illumination than fluorescent products,” Chikhliker says.
The switch to LED lighting is becoming an practical and feasible option to help hospitals, large and small, cut down on the energy consumption, maintenance and operational expenses. “The important thing to consider is that lighting also directly effects how people feel and function,” says Nitin Tyagi who is the health healthcare and industrial product manager for Signify, Somerset, N.J. “Therefore, the quality of light should be evaluated not just in terms of how much energy it saves, but how it can better support the daily activities of patients, their families and hospital staff.”
Sylvania Retrofit kits for LED troffers allow for easy change from fluorescent lamps to LED fixtures and can result in up to 50 % energy savings. These kits are safe, simple installation in just four minutes. They also bypass the ballast in place to avoid problems with compatibility. “This is ideal for hospitals because you don’t need to break the ceiling to perform the lighting upgrade, therefore reducing the possibility of dust and other materials falling into the space,” Lee says.
Other innovative ideas
In addition to the other LED technologies recently introduced to the market for health care and this one, MediMode behavioral lighting fixtures, manufactured by Hubbell Healthcare Solutions, Greenville, S.C., provides essential lighting requirements for the environment of patients while also taking care of the security and safety concerns that surround the behavioral health space according to Michael McCullough, director of public relations. The fixture is designed to minimize the risk of self-harming ligatures, as well as the concealing of contraband, and overall damage caused to the fixture.
It is available in a multi-function design (DS option) that offers reading/ambient exam lighting, as well as the form of an ambient design (SS option) and the MediMode Behavioral includes a one-piece cold-rolled steel (CRS) door frame featuring a 0.250-inch crystal clear lens as well as robust hardware that is tamper-proof. The optical assembly and electrical components can be accessed from below the ceiling.
Signify recently announced the RelaxView Healthcare Lighting System, which includes LED graphic panel that are placed either on the ceiling or walls to provide a distraction to patients in long procedures. They also provide health professionals with ambient lighting to assist in the execution of their duties. Wall dimmers as well as power distribution modules give additional control over the lighting environment to accomplish the task in hand.
Signify has also unveiled its SurgiCare Led fixture that is fully protected to provide the best protection during surgery. “The housing is completely sealed and has no openings over the ceiling, and the luminaire has been sealed to the structure by gaskets. Safety cables secure the door tightly to the housing to facilitate ease of maintenance” Tyagi explains.
Waldmann has launched recessed bed light fixtures, Stellar and Stellar Duo for ceilings of patient rooms within the North American market. They are compact and offer a different style option to the other options for headwall lights According to Kaminski. Its Stellar Duo Light offers three lighting options such as ambient study, reading and ambient. Lenses and reflectors provide clear and glare-free lighting to assist caregivers accomplish their work.
Waldmann’s Derungs brand has introduced Derungs’ new Triango-100 procedure light. It has a light output of 100,000 lux at 1 meter. It also has an unidirectional, shadow-free light source with a variable light field between 6 and 11 inches and a comfortable designed, contoured light head. The light has four levels of dimming and can be customized with temperature of color.
Cree Lighting has introduced The Cadiant Experience An LED lighting system that offers both the architectural aesthetic and the sensation of a real skylight in the words of Hungarter. It is equipped with 3D LED panels that replicate an actual depth of field as well as changing sun’s positions, clouds, and natural colors of the sky. “Wherever natural light is desired but lacking, this lighting solution brings the outdoors inside by mirroring the natural arc of the sun as it crosses the sky and recreating local weather conditions — from bright, sunny mornings to overcast, cloudy afternoons,” he says.
The Cadiant Experience can be used as the main light source in rooms for patients, examination rooms, and other smaller spaces. It will integrate with other fixtures for larger spaces like nurse stations waiting areas, lobbies, waiting areas as well as breakrooms. “The Cadiant Experience is code-compliant and uses standalone Cree SmartCast Technology that doesn’t need IT connection or approval. A simple wall-mounted touchscreen allows users access to multiple installations via their fingers,” Hungarter adds.
Eaton has announced VividTune color tunable solutions which enable health facilities to get the correct intensity and temperature of the color by keeping in tune with the circadian rhythms. “With the tunable options, patients are able to choose from a vast selection of correlated color temperatures (CCT) settings depending on the time of day or the need for an hour shifts. They can also maintain a certain color temperature, and then adjust it in increments or decreases without affecting light output,” Chikhliker explains.
The right CCT is crucial for diagnosing He says. In rooms for patients or other areas of diagnosis, light fixtures should be able to show the true colors of materials, objects as well as skin tone. This is vital, as doctors evaluate the shade of a patient’s eyes, skin and organs in order to identify conditions and track the recovery.
WAC Lighting, Port Washington, N.Y., recently upgraded its range of architectural fixtures, which include an antimicrobial powder coating finish which stops the development of pathogens on surfaces. This feature is included in the company’s LED step light and LED under-cabinet lights along with LED puck lighting. “Step lights are typically used as night lights in patients’ rooms, using our amber LED options. We also retrofit step lights for children’s hospitals which can be used to guide patients as these LED light fixtures do not get hot to the feel,” says Shelley Wald President.
Specifiers also place decorative pendants and sconces made by the two brands WAC Lighting and its Modern Forms unit in lobby areas and waiting rooms of health facilities and in the patient rooms.
“We offer many high-design looks that designers need to achieve the upscale, contemporary hospitality feel that is desired in today’s patient-centric facilities,” Wald states. “We also offer emergency battery backup wall sconces and recessed lights for designers who need to meet power outage requirements without adding overhead troffers, which are detrimental to the aesthetics of a space.”
Optimizing for the needs of people
As the lighting industry for commercial use grows, the focus on product performance is starting to shift away from optimizing the functions of buildings to optimizing them for the user, says Tom Hinds, director of intelligent lighting at Cree Lighting.
“The [International WELL Building Institute’s] WELL Building Standard is the new LEED, and whether facility professionals are yet pursuing this kind of health-centric building certification or not, they must see the trend,” Hinds states. It is the WELL Building Standard provides a system that focuses on performance that measures, certifies and monitoring aspects that are part of the building environment which impact health.
“Energy efficiency, low maintenance and sustainability are still important, but they are just table stakes now,” Hinds states. “Building managers want better light quality — light that can be tuned to particular tasks, personal preferences and the time of day as well as intelligent [features] that offer non-visual benefits such as circadian activation.”