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The Benefits of LED Lighting in Healthcare

It’s no secret that switching to LED lighting can be a sustainable, cost-effective move, but in healthcare facilities, this upgrade offers a longer list of benefits. Studies have shown that LED lighting creates a healthier workplace, so it stands to reason that it can also boost the wellbeing of patients and employees in clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals. Below we outline a few to consider.

LED Lighting Is Energy Efficient

It’s not easy to just switch off the lights in healthcare facilities when you leave a room — think about how many areas of a hospital must be illuminated 24/7 for safety and compliance reasons. As many healthcare facilities and hospitals are looking for ways to decrease spending and support green initiatives, LED lighting seems like a natural choice. 

LED lighting means that energy bills and operating budgets can be smaller. Also, HVAC systems in healthcare facilities don’t have to work harder to mitigate the heat that traditional lighting can emit, offering even another layer of savings. LED is lower-maintenance, more durable, and has a much longer lifespan, all of which translates into overall cost-savings across the board.

LED Can Reduce Hazards

There are two ways that lighting can impact the human body — either visually or physiologically. Pre-existing conditions or illness can lead to decreased vision, and that could in turn increase the potential for dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. Additionally, flicker from traditional lighting could increase the sensitivity of employees and is tied to fatigue or obstructed vision that may directly impact the care they provide. LED lighting can offer optimal lighting and even help reduce facility liability.

LED fixtures can reduce health risks as well. Studies show that incandescent and fluorescent lighting can emit harmful UV rays: “Increased use of fluorescent lighting as a climate change mitigation strategy may increase eye disease.” This traditional lighting also contains the toxin mercury, which can be released should a bulb break, and requires an extensive and complex clean-up process to avoid exposure.

LED Lighting Improves Circadian Rhythm

Because LED lighting is available in a range of colors that mimic natural lighting, you can use it to help regulate circadian rhythm in the human body. Cooler lighting helps reflect daytime sunlight when the facility lacks windows and can reduce depression and decrease fatigue. Warmer LED lighting prepares the body for better sleep as it helps with the release of melatonin. 

The right combination of LEDs at the right times of day can help regulate circadian rhythm. This means better moods, increased alertness, and has also been shown to speed the healing process. This isn’t just important for patients; it’s also advantageous to employees who work non-traditional second and third shift schedules.

LED Lighting Improves Patient Outcome

Some areas of healthcare facilities — like operating rooms — have electronics and equipment that function using frequencies that interfere with incandescent and fluorescent lighting. While this can be resolved with some extensive configuration, interference can likely be eliminated altogether by using the right LED lighting.

It’s worth mentioning again that LEDs don’t emit the same heat as traditional lighting — both temperature and humidity are easier to manage when the environment is cooler. Clinicians and patients are more comfortable, and medical devices (like ventilators or machinery that constantly monitors vital signs) can work more efficiently with a lower risk of malfunctioning.

LEDs Beyond Overhead Lighting

It’s not just healthcare facility lighting that can benefit from an upgrade, either. Many medical device manufacturers are discovering how LEDs can optimize the tools they design. Airway management scopes (laryngoscopes) are at the top of the list of devices that are being revolutionized by LED lighting, and LED headlights come in at a close second. Because of the lower cost of manufacturing these devices, they’re often single-use. This helps with infection control, something that’s top of mind now more than ever. 

From the moment a patient steps through the doors of a hospital or healthcare facility, during the exam and even when undergoing surgery, LED lighting is transforming patient and employee wellbeing in the healthcare industry. 

When you’re ready to think about an upgrade, get in touch with our team. We’ll start with an in-depth conversation about your facility’s needs and audit your current lighting system. We’ll discuss how you can save money, improve patient outcomes, and create a safer work environment for your employees. Let’s talk more