A lighting system upgrade is not an easy feat, especially in a healthcare facility with money constraints. Besides human traffic, an upgrade is an expensive undertaking, which might not go well with all the decision-makers. However, a healthcare lighting upgrade from the traditional systems to the more advanced intelligent lighting systems will prove cost-effective in the end.
Lighting in a healthcare facility accounts for about 16% of the total energy consumption. It also accounts for total electric usage of 40%. Almost every part of a health center stays lit for most of the day and night. Places such as the hallways, emergency rooms, and waiting rooms are active 24/7, which means the lighting must stay on throughout.
Some of the traditional lighting systems used in these rooms are incredibly bright and sometimes even too hot for the comfort of the people in the room. Besides the discomfort caused to the visitors, patients, and staff, using traditional lighting systems in a facility that uses too much light energy every day is bound to push electricity expenses up the roof.
Smart healthcare lighting not only saves energy costs but also comes with many other benefits.
Benefits of Healthcare Lighting Upgrades
1. Reduces Costs of Energy Consumption
A healthcare facility will benefit immensely from a new smart lighting system. Good examples are the LED light fixtures that provide enough lighting with less wattage. They are significantly cost-effective for places that operate with full lighting around the clock.
Using LEDs instead of fluorescent bulbs can save the health facility 50% of the total energy costs. If the smart lights come with controls such as dimmable capabilities, the reduction could go up to 80%. The healthcare facility can spend the money saved by upgrading to intelligent lighting on hospital equipment and better patient care.
2. Provides ideal Working Conditions for the Medical Staff
An adequate lighting system is essential for doctors, nurses, and other medical and non-medical hospital professionals to carry out their tasks. Poor lighting conditions can impair the staff visually, leading to errors that could lead to fatalities. Poor lighting can also lead to stress, difficulties during surgeries, and exhaustion.
During the night shifts and long hours of working, improper lighting can lead to poor decision-making and substandard care of the patients. It could also lead to eye fatigue leading to sleeping while at work. The medical staff needs visual comfort, and a smart healthcare lighting upgrade helps reduce or eliminate all the issues caused by improper lighting.
3. Better Patient Care
Research and scientific facts prove that specific lighting schedules and fixtures are very beneficial for the patient’s wellbeing. Smart lighting helps to reduce stress, depression, improve the patient’s circadian rhythm and sleep, and support faster healing processes. Smart lighting fixtures beneficial to the patients include white LED lighting systems that address patient’s visual and non-visual needs.
The light helps the patients, especially those in their senior years, with normal waking and sleeping cycles disrupted by specific age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. LED lights have color tuning and dimmable features that provide patients with cool, warm, and white light to suit their settings.
4. Minimal Labor and Downtime Costs
One of the main disadvantages of using traditional lighting systems is downtime. If the lights break or burn out, replacing them will need a schedule that might require a stoppage of duties. Some places in a healthcare facility, such as the operating room, are critical, and require uninterrupted lighting. Stopping an operation midway is catastrophic. Moreover, many health facilities do not have in-house electricians, which mean that they have to call their subcontractors to come and fix the issue leading to extra labor costs.
The initial installation of an intelligent lighting system in a healthcare facility might seem daunting to the administration because of the cost. However, LEDs come with a longer lifespan, and they are energy-efficient, which saves the healthcare facility money by decreasing downtimes and labor costs, among other savings.
5. Environmentally Friendly
Unlike fluorescent tubes that contain mercury, LEDs are recyclable and do not have any toxic or hazardous chemicals. Even if they fall and break in a hospital environment, there will be no fear of the patients, staff, or visitors inhaling harmful mercury vapor.
Discarding light bulbs that contain mercury or any other toxic chemicals requires specialized collection for safety, which is an extra expense for the healthcare facility. LEDs are recyclable and do not require any discard. Moreover, Throwing products with mercury or any other toxic chemical in a landfill can cause environmental contamination due to leaching.
6. Improves Security
The safety and security of the patients, staff, visitors, systems, equipment, and the facility are essential to the healthcare facility. A smart lighting system is one of the ways to enhance overall safety and security. Integrating security and safety capabilities with innovative lighting technologies provides healthcare facilities with an added layer of protection for everyone and everything within the facility.
Innovative technology also makes it easy to control all the safety and security systems from one control point, making it easier for the health facility’s security team to identify and respond to problems quickly as they get the alerts. Alongside the lighting ability, networked lighting systems also include cameras and sensors that all work in harmony to determine and illuminate the safest routes for staff, patients, and visitors, especially when there is an emergency.
Sensors on the lighting systems can also detect conditions such as fire, strange sounds, carbon dioxide emission, smoke, and other environmental or building hazards. Security measures of the lighting systems extend to illuminating the parking lots, walkways, entrance and exit points, and the perimeter around the healthcare facility. The lights in these places can also use sensors and cameras to monitor and report any unusual or suspicious movements, hazards and monitor traffic flow to and from inside the hospital.
Wrapping it up
Every healthcare facility has many lighting fixtures in all the areas within its environment. Moreover, the healthcare industry is one of the highest consumers of energy. An upgrade to a lighting system that saves the facility energy costs is the key to the beginning of many other benefits. Smart lighting improves the wellbeing of the patients and the staff.