In our first installment of Ask an Engineering Expert, Timothy Larson P.E., Principal, Officer at RTM Engineering Consultants, answers the question: how have the changes of LED technologies and specifications impacted the design of hospitals, health care facilities, and medical campuses?
Larson explains that in today’s ultra-competitive healthcare marketplace, the advances in LED lighting have impacted three key areas: patient satisfaction, energy efficiency and operational efficiency. Additionally, he states, with the implementation of government healthcare reforms, requirements for greater energy and operational efficiencies, as well as enhanced patient outcomes, have also increased.
By utilizing LEDs in RTM’s lighting designs, Larson and others on his team can help healthcare providers deliver care more efficiently. LEDs provide a higher quality of light, reduce energy usage and maintenance costs, and reduce storage space requirements for lamp and ballast replacements. And LED benefits don’t stop there. The quality and controllability of LED lights also enhance patient satisfaction. Dimmable lights give patients control over light levels and tunable lights allow the color temperature – ranging from warm amber tones to cool blue tones – to be adjusted to promote healthy circadian rhythms. Additionally, by using a combination of LEDs that emit a narrow spectrum light, they can help prevent the spread of infection in surgical suites.
Healthcare facility security is enhanced via LED lighting in parking and entry areas, providing patients and staff with a safe and secure experience.
Energy efficient LEDs use half the energy, produce less heat and can last two to three times as long as the previous standard of fluorescent lighting. The long life of LEDs and fixture components such as drivers reduces maintenance costs and frees up valuable square footage that used to be required to store replacement lamps and ballasts.
LEDs impact the design of healthcare facilities in many positive ways, resulting in becoming the new standard of care when designing lighting for these facilities.
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