The Lighting Practice closely follows emerging research on ways lighting can promote health and well-being. At the forefront of many of our healthcare designs is Project Manager Ryan Conover, who has helped hospitals take a more innovative approach to lighting – using technology that may have the potential to aid in patient recovery and health. Ryan recently shared his predictions regarding lighting in healthcare environments with the Illuminating Engineering Society’s (IES) LD+A Magazine.
In the article, Ryan discusses the uses of color-tunable lighting. He predicts that healthcare will be the first market sector to fully adopt the technology. The benefits could be two-fold. First, ongoing scientific studies are analyzing the impact of electric light on circadian rhythms when they mimic natural light patterns by changing color temperatures and light intensity based on the time of day. Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s new Cooperman Family Pavilion, for example, utilizes a system to supplement natural daylight and help support newborns’ circadian rhythm in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Second, color-tunable lighting can be used to create a welcoming environment in medical centers and increase awareness about health issues. Ryan notes the popularity of lobby feature walls and building façades that change color during Heart Health Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so on.
“We are still in the ‘Wild West’ phase of color-tunable lighting as it relates to improving human health and healing,” Ryan said. “More research needs to be conducted, but once the dust settles and more data emerges, color-tunable lighting will evolve into a necessity for the healthcare industry.”