When it comes to emergency room lighting, hospitals can’t afford to take any chances. Since a lack of proper lighting can lead to costly mistakes regarding patient care, it is best to choose emergency room lighting solutions that meet the specific needs of this unique area. Here are 5 tips on choosing the best lighting solutions for an emergency room setting.
1. Choose high lumen outputs.
When choosing emergency room lighting, the lumen output is key. This is an area in need of high visibility, and while there will be individual task lighting lamps, the main source of general lighting will come from overhead fixtures. These fixtures need to have a high enough lumen output to ensure proper visibility for hospital staff. When considering lumen output, you should also pay attention to the directional spread of the illumination beam. If the fixture type offers a more focused beam, it can be overly harsh and uncomfortable to the eyes of both patients and staff. The most commonly used option in emergency room lighting is tube lighting in either 4 feet or 8-foot length since they provide a more evenly distributed light source for large spaces.
2. Choose multiple lamp fixtures.
A single lamp unit has no backup system if the bulb burns out. A multiple lamp fixture will usually only burn out one bulb at a time which makes it ideal for settings where lighting being maintained is crucial. While a three lamp option will suffice, a four lamp is the better bet since you will retain more light in the event that a lamp should burn out.
3. Opt for recessed fixtures over suspended.
In an area such as an emergency room, the lighting should create as few shadows as possible. With recessed lighting fixtures, the fixture is neatly placed within the ceiling. This means most of the light is projected down to the floor with very few shadows coming from light being projected off to the sides of the fixture. With a suspended fixture, there is a mix of uplight and downlight which creates shadows.
4. Mix and match fixtures where applicable.
Just because recessed troffer lighting is the best solution for emergency rooms, doesn’t mean they are the only solution. A lighting plan with various types of lighting fixtures can help create a well-balanced lighting level while creating an atmosphere to help patients with stress levels. A great way to do so is to place a few carefully chosen wall sconces, usually by the nurse’s station or along walkways, to add another layer to the lighting plan.
5. Find the right color temperature.
If lighting is too warm, it impedes CRI which is essential for working with patients. If lighting is too cool, it can take on a harshness that is displeasing for the eyes. The main goal is to find the temperature that will work for both visibility and comfort. A good rule of thumb is to lean more towards white than yellow on the Kelvin scale with around 4500-5000K as a guideline.
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