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Circadian Lighting hanging in the ceiling
Ane EskildsenJune 14, 20234 min read

5 Tips for Installing Circadian Lighting in Healthcare Facilities

Are you considering installing circadian lighting in your nursing home or hospital department but having a hard time figuring out where to start? Our Chief of Technology and Lighting Expert, Torben Skov Hansen, shares his 5 valuable tips for a successful implementation of circadian lighting.

Circadian lighting is a technology that more and more facilities are investing in to promote better health for patients and staff. However, as a newcomer to circadian lighting, it can be difficult to make sense of what it can contribute to your organization, how to create the most value, and how to implement the solution effectively.

Therefore, we are providing you with 5 valuable pieces of advice to guide you in your investment in circadian lighting. These tips are based on a webinar about circadian lighting with 75+ participants, held on March 3, 2022, in collaboration between CareNet and Chromaviso.

1. Documentation of effects and results

To ensure that you achieve the value you are investing in, it is crucial to examine the supplier's documentation of the effects. The ultimate goal is to promote health for both patients and staff, which is why the evidence should encompass a wide range. This can be ensured by obtaining documentation from clinical and quantitative/qualitative studies, user surveys, and experiences. Additionally, it is a great idea to go on reference visits to experience the lighting firsthand and hear about others' experiences.

2. Tailoring and adaptability

Choose a system that is tailored to the specific department and patient group – it should not be a 'one size fits all' solution. There are significant differences in the lighting needs and biological impact on patients in an intensive care unit, neuro-rehabilitation, or nursing home. This requires a supplier who has expertise in these specialities and the ability to translate it into lighting that promotes health. The system should be flexible, and it should be easy to adjust the circadian lighting as needs change. The best way to achieve this is through an open and standardized system with excellent service from the supplier – preferably through remote connectivity for quick and cost-effective adjustments.

3. Implementation is a crucial aspect of the solution

If you want to succeed with your project, it's important to consider implementation from the very beginning. Look for a supplier who includes implementation as a core part of their solution. Implementation is not just about a technical review. It starts with receiving competent advice on how to structure and prioritize the project to meet your needs. Once the project is underway, the supplier should be responsible for project management and the overall technical delivery right up until the system is up and running, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. And once the lighting is functioning, it's important to educate the staff on how to use it and, more importantly, why. After implementation, there should be a follow-up process where the initial experiences provide input for improvements and adjustments to the lighting. This way, you can ensure high user satisfaction from day one.

4. Technical requirements

Technical specifications play a crucial role in creating a healthy and pleasant environment. There are specifically four aspects that you should investigate.

  • A peaceful awakening and bedtime routine is ensured through a gentle and gradual fade towards sunrise and sunset. This allows natural tiredness to set in the evening and a great start to the day in the morning. To achieve this, you need a system that can provide smooth dimming of the light, allowing it to go as low as 0.1% before turning off completely.
  • The natural daylight provides a rejuvenating burst of light in the middle of the day. It should be both powerful (6000 Kelvin) and pleasant to be in, without causing any glare. Achieving this requires high-quality lamps and calibration according to the specific room requirements.
  • The lighting during nighttime should consider both our body's health and circadian rhythm, as well as the needs of the staff, to work effectively. This can be achieved through the use of biological darkness, which requires the light to be able to reach a temperature of 1800 Kelvin with a maximum of 1% blue light. Additionally, the use of broad-spectrum diodes should ensure good colour reproduction, allowing the staff to navigate and attend to patients.
  • The intuitive operation ensures that both permanent and new employees can easily use it. It should cater to the busy everyday life, where lighting settings should be tailored to the activities in each room so that staff members don't have to spend time on it.

5. New standards for measurement

A new method has emerged to measure the biological impact of light on our health. It is called Melanopic EDI and is defined by the international standardization organization CIE. Researchers have provided a range of recommendations on the optimal levels of Melanopic EDI at different times to achieve the greatest health benefits. This provides tangible data on the positive effects on health.