34 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | DEC. 14 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
Studies show that natural light is critical to human function
and can benefit patients and staff in healthcare settings.
“By controlling the body’s circadian system, light impacts
the outcome in healthcare settings by reducing depression
among patients, decreasing length of stay in hospitals, improving sleep,” writes Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., in “The Impact of Light
on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings.” Joseph is the director of
research at The Center for Health Design, a nonprofit research
and advocacy organization.
Patients on the sunnier side of the building spend less time in
the hospital, but the light exposure doesn’t affect only patients.
“The presence of windows in the workplace and access to
daylight have been linked with increased satisfaction with the
work environment,” Joseph writes. “A combination of daylight
and electric light can meet these needs.”
Lighting designs implemented in several Southern
California Kaiser Permanente facilities demonstrate new
healthcare-lighting technologies and how quickly new prod-
ucts are coming to the market.
Kaiser Permanente, Orange County-Anaheim Medical Cen-
ter, which comprises a hospital and a medical office building,
remodeled its hospital tower in 2012. Kaiser Permanente San
Diego Central hospital—based on the same template but with
unique elements—is under construction and will open in 2017.
Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Medical Offices opened in
October 2014 as an all-LED facility.
Patients and visitors to Kaiser Permanente, Orange County-Anaheim Medical Center may be charmed as they approach the
facility, both by the LED-illuminated gardens and pools that
are intended as a place of relaxation and by the glass-enclosed
stairwells on the corners of the main building. The stairwells
are lit by stagecraft LEDs that mark seasons and events—orange
lighting for Halloween, green and red for Christmas, and pink
for breast cancer awareness month. Yet, since these glass stairwells are paths of egress, if a person enters a stairwell to walk
up or down, the light show stops instantly, and bright white
lighting illuminates a safe exit or entry.
Creative lighting design is also apparent within the facility. Brightly colored LED walls enliven the atmosphere in the
pediatric department waiting area. Daylighting brightens the
pediatric oncology department, a boon to the children and staff.
Children undergoing chemotherapy transfusions have views of
the surrounding area and of the aquarium embedded in a color-changing LED glass wall that fronts the nurse’s station.
IN THE HEALTHCARE-LIGHTING ARENA, the improvements and increasing affordability
of light-emitting diode (LED) products, along with advancements in lighting control technology,
enable creative lighting designs that benefit patients and staff members.
> FOCUS BY SUSAN CASEY
Modern healthcare lighting trends promote well-being
the Path to