Lighting for hospitals and medical centres are governed by standards and specification criteria, however, it is the responsibility of the lighting designer to bridge the gap between functionality and aesthetics whilst injecting creativity. There are many influences that will steer the choice of a compliant lighting scheme for these applications. The scheme must consider the correct illuminance, uniformity, colour rendering, colour temperature, glare and lighting controls. Ensuring a solution that will create a comfortable environment allowing the medical experts to give accurate diagnosis and set out the best road to recovery and treatment for their patients whilst maintaining a good working environment for the staff.
In addition to the regulations, it should be noted that the psychological wellbeing of the patients could be vastly improved with a well-engineered lighting solution. Hospital wards in particular are very sterile environments, however the lighting does not need to perform in a sterile manner and with a combination of due diligence and flair, a comforting experience can be achieved. With the use of discreet recessed low glare LED downlights and LED modular luminaires with digital printed blue-sky diffusers, a bright and uplifting feel can be created. Whilst bed head lights allow the patient to have locally controlled lighting, clean lines across the ceiling, deliver a fresh outlook to the patients, without compromising on compliance.
It is no secret that in winter months people can have their moods fundamentally affected by the lack of quality light, disturbing their body clock and associated circadian rhythm. A recognised way to help regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm is to use Human Centric Lighting (HCL) synchronising the artificial lighting with the natural light cycle by introducing a creative lighting control system. This system can vary the illuminance levels and colour temperature of the lights automatically from warm lighting in the morning through to white lighting at midday and back to warm lighting again into the evening and throughout the night. This is hugely important for hospital wards with little or no natural lighting and will assist in keeping the patients and nurses circadian rhythm in tune with the day.
A little bit of thought goes a long way to creating a well-balanced lighting environment in such critical areas.
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