Medical Equipment Blog

Shedding Light on Hospital Room Lighting

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What options are available for hospital lighting for staff safety and patient comfort?
Ideally in a patient room in a hospital setting it is important to keep the lighting as natural as possible. This lessens patient stress about being in an unfamiliar environment and provides a more welcoming environment. Natural light can be enhanced by large windows but overhead or over the bed type of lighting is still the main source. Over bed lights are typically longer than a standard wall mount light and can be up to four feet long. These lights usually include multiple setting options that the patient can control with the call button or through a keypad system on the bed rail. Some models may also provide remote control of the light settings independent of the call button or bed.

Different light settings are possible based on the ambient light and the needs of the patient and staff. Directly light provides the most intense light that can be used during patient examinations or in completing procedures in the room. Indirect lighting or general lighting keeps a standard room brightness that is usually focused up as opposed to down towards the patient as in direct lighting.

Reading lights are focused to provide light towards the head of the bed. For a very soft and indirect light a nightlight option is also available on some models. This, like the indirect lighting, is directed away from the patient area but illuminates the bed and surrounding space. With the nightlight option on staff can complete checks on the patient and the medical equipment and supplies without turning on the overhead room lights or using the directed light.

What factors need to be considered when selecting hospital lighting throughout the facility?
Coordinating lighting in a medical facility requires advanced planning and a good understanding of the lighting needs of different areas. In patient and visitor areas standard room lighting is important to provide a well-lit, safe yet welcoming environment. Patient rooms will required additional lighting that can be used by medical staff during examinations and procedures in the room. Nursing stations require a brighter light that is compatible with computer use, documentation and charting. Lighting in this area is typically on 24/7 and energy efficiency will be important, as it is throughout the facility. Additional lights such as gooseneck lamps can be a supplement for desks and workstations. Hallways need to be brightly lit for safety reasons. This means positioning hospital lighting to minimize shadows and dark areas while also preserving a comfortable lighting level.

Newer hospitals typically are designed to admit natural light through larger windows along hallways and in waiting areas. Skylights may supplement artificial lighting in "green" hospitals to minimize power usage during the day.Operating theatres, patient examination rooms and doctor's offices will need enhanced lighting based on the specific use.

Operating rooms in particular require both general direct and indirect lighting as well as the use of specific operating room lights. Operating room lights provide true color and high levels of light intensity during surgical procedures. These lights are typically ceiling mounted and, with independent positioning, can be adjusted to focus light where it is required.

What options are available for energy efficiency in hospital lighting?
New technology has provided several options for energy efficiency in all types of hospital lighting. Photocell lights that come on only when the ambient light drops below a pre-set level will automatically control room lights and hallway lights. These systems typically have a manual override that allows staff to turn on the lights using a wall switch if required.

Other options for energy efficiency include using LED lights, even in the large operating room lights. These energy efficient lamps not only help to reduce the demand for electricity but they also operate without producing heat, reducing the use of air conditioning systems and further saving energy.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home