Lighting plays a role in the atmosphere of any location. In a hospital setting, it serves the purpose of creating a comforting ambiance while also serving the more important function of providing visibility for the staff. When it comes to hospital hallway lighting in particular, there is a fine balance at play of the two elements of function and atmosphere.
The two elements of function and atmosphere can be achieved simultaneously with the right solution in place for hospital hallway lighting. the key is to choose lighting solutions with these two elements in mind. While atmosphere is important, function should ultimately carry more weight in the decision-making process. Let’s take a look at each aspect separately.
When we talk about function, we mean the obvious factor of overall visibility. Hospital hallways can be busy places with a lot going on which makes it essential to the safety of all for there to proper illumination. With this in mind, you want to choose the right lumen output for the square foot with a general rule of thumb being a minimum of 30 watts per square foot as your guideline. Use the watt compared to the lumen output specified to get a more accurate calculation.
While lumen is important, you should also consider the spread of the light beam. For the best visibility, light fixtures should be placed higher up rather than at eye level which serves several purposes. The first is that light that is placed higher up has a wider light spread. The second reason is because lights placed at or just above eye level are more likely to create a glare that is uncomfortable for the eyes. The best bet for hospital hallway lighting is a ceiling mounted fixture which can be either pendant hanging or recessed which is placed inside the ceiling for a smooth appearance.
The reason atmosphere is important in hospital hallways is because the hospital can be a stressful place for patients, family members, and even the staff working hard to care for them. Lighting plays a role in the moods of people so to choose lighting solely on function without considering the ambiance effect would be rather shortsighted.
When considering atmosphere, it is important to consider the temperature of lighting. Hallways have a reputation for being poorly lit and with colors that are too warm for the area. When you use warm colors such as those closer to the yellow and orange end of the spectrum, you create a space that seems dimmer which may seem more relaxing, but in reality, most patients prefer a more vibrant light in hospital settings. It gives them the impression that the staff and facilities have nothing to hide which can be a great comfort during a trying time.
A good idea when choosing lighting for this area is to opt for an LED solution. LED lights offer a bright illumination that provides ample visibility while giving patients the peace of mind they deserve.
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