Lack of daylight for long periods of time causes sleep problems because the production of sleep hormone melatonin and stress hormone cortisol is disrupted. These hormones control your circadian rhythm, and lighting concepts that are in harmony with our internal clock support our well-being.
Light from a patient’s perspective
Patients rarely have the opportunity to go outside and spend most of their time at the hospital in their room. Hospital stays are often strange and unpleasant, and the way a room is lit becomes very important from an emotional, biological and visual perspective.
When planned correctly, the light can help create a positive experience and contribute to reduced stress in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. The clinical situation becomes less formal, less threatening and more comfortable through strategic use of coloured lights or lights that slowly change colour as the day progresses.
From a purely visual perspective, the patient needs a light that is adapted to their needs and that they themselves can control. Lighting planning from the patient’s perspective is therefore about seeing the bigger picture, from ensuring biologically effective light that can contribute to promoting recovery to a good reading light or a light for finding the way to the toilet at night.
Staff need well-designed work lighting that will contribute to more accurate diagnoses and better treatment of patients. The staff are also biologically and emotionally affected by the light. A lot of daylight is good for everyone as it helps our unconscious mind to keep track of time. The best thing of course is to go outside during breaks.
Well-planned work lighting with a lot of ambient light illuminates the walls and ceiling while also ensuring that the light in our field of vision is sufficient. Ambient lighting from large surfaces increases the pupil’s light intake and keeps staff fresh and alert during long work shifts at all hours of the day.
Pre-set light scenes make it simple for staff to adjust the light in different rooms. Sometimes more light is needed, sometimes less. The staff can do their work even when high light levels are limited in e.g. a patient’s room. Depending on its nature, examination light should normally be between 500–1,000 lux.