Hospitals never rest. Each building works 24/7 non-stop to provide the best possible care for their patients. But to make sure this happens, most hospitals spend outrageous amounts of energy, most of which goes towards keeping it well-lit. After all, how’s a doctor supposed to operate on you in the dark?
While there’s no question that medical buildings absolutely need to be well-lit at all times, the environmental impact is humongous. So, what can you do to solve this key piece of puzzle in hospital design?
It’s simple – LED lighting.
It’s sustainable. It’s affordable. It’s healthier than regular lighting. Basically, LED lighting will let you have your cake and eat it, too. Here’s why you need it.
It improves accuracy
Every patient that comes seeking medical help is first visually evaluated. Many conditions treated in medical facilities can be diagnosed using visual inspection, therefore, seeing colors in their true form is very important in healthcare.
If lighting makes skin or blood color seem distorted, it can lead to misdiagnosis or neglecting of the signs of infection or jaundice. LED technology offers a high color-rendering index (CRI) that allows people to see colors accurately. Thanks to its close-to-sunlight color, doctors can do their jobs with better confidence.
It keeps people productive
One reason why LEDs are so present in hospitals and office environments is their ability to help people stay on task. They play a big role in employee productivity, alertness and focus—all of which are important aspects of working in healthcare. Benefits LED lighting brings to staff can keep doctors and nurses on schedule and make them more productive during their downtime.
It is cost-effective
LED light bulbs last anywhere between 25 and 42 times longer than traditional bulbs and 5 times longer than CFL bulbs. When you’re working in a large hospital, proper lighting is necessary and time is of the essence. Every burned bulb is an obstacle that can cost someone their life. However, it will also cost the hospital thousands of dollars.
Without lighting, MRI and CT rooms can’t function, which equals loss of productivity and delays in diagnosis, not to mention the impact on human life. This brand of hospital lighting offers medical lights that are highly efficient, which means doctors can run their surgeries and interventions smoothly. This is why LEDs are so great – they let your business be profitable while remaining sustainable.
It improves energy management
Effective energy management is the first step towards sustainability in large hospitals. Not only are LEDs better for human health and hospital profits, they help preserve the environment by reducing the waste of resources. The hospital will spend less energy and slowly reduce its carbon footprint. For institutions dedicated to the preservation of human health, sustainability needs to score high on the list of priorities.
It benefits circadian rhythm
Circadian rhythm is the human body’s natural rhythm that triggers the release of sleep hormones and active hormones based on the color of the light. When the light is warm (morning and evening), the body releases melatonin to cause sleepiness. When the light is cooler (during the day), melatonin is surprised and replaced with serotonin that makes us active.
Hospital setting can benefit from this natural rhythm. Cool light in the midday can encourage both workers and patients to be more alert and present and it will also relieve fatigue. Warm evening lighting will make everyone feel sluggish, which is not suitable for hospital workers. LEDs can provide people with cool, white and bright light that will encourage your circadian rhythm to work for their benefit.
It affects mood
Appropriate lighting can also have a positive effect on mood. LEDs are known to boost happiness and encourage staff and patients to feel more upbeat. When humans are happy, our immune systems work better and improve recovery times and patient satisfaction.
Additionally, many LED lighting solutions can be dimmable, which means they can meet all sorts of patients’ needs. Color-changing LEDs are also available on the market and they come in various colors and color temperatures. These lights can be used in stressful settings like MRI or CT scan rooms where patients need to be calm.
Different colors create a relaxing atmosphere and give them something to focus on instead of all the scary machines. Colors and color temperatures do play a role in the way human bodies function, so by keeping patients’ circadian systems in check and keeping them in a positive mood can result in many good health outcomes. Many issues administration faces such as depression, sleep problems among staff and patients and the length of stay can all be improved.
It has no health risks
Fluorescent lights are made with mercury, which is highly toxic. If a bulb breaks and mercury gets released, it can be very harmful to humans, especially if it comes into contact with skin or gets inhaled. To reduce this risk, there are special mercury cleanup procedures that involve evacuation from the room, proper natural ventilation, shutting off heating and air-conditioning units and other strict instructions. Additionally, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs also emit UV radiation that can cause damage to skin and eyes, as well as facility materials and equipment.
On the other hand, LEDs are considered as an eco-friendly lighting option as it contain no mercury and emit very little or no UV radiation (unless there are special UV bulbs). This means they are a perfect choice for healthcare facilities since they protect human health. Also, they don’t flicker or cause color spikes which can be triggering for some patients.
Staff, patients, the budget, and the environment – everyone benefits. This is one of the most sustainable solutions that’s also the easiest to implement, especially for hospitals which are looking for affordable, eco-friendly solutions.
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.