Lighting is one of the most important ways to achieve a safe and inviting atmosphere. A dental office is certainly a location in need of such calming light. When it comes to lighting in dental offices, the goal is to provide ample lighting for visibility while making patients feel at ease. While this can be a somewhat tricky balance to achieve, there are a few tips on lighting in dental offices that can make it easier.
1. Mix and match fixture types
While the area of dental office lighting was once pretty standard with fluorescent tube fixtures in recessed styles as the norm, there are ways to use a more varied range of lighting fixtures effectively in the space for a modern take. Many dental offices incorporate the brighter overhead recessed lights perfect for visibility during procedures, as well as wall sconces or other means of accent lighting in exam rooms to create a more relaxed environment for the patient during certain parts of the visit. Another way to mix and match fixtures is to use different styles or types in hallways and waiting areas than in the exam rooms. This helps to create a more pleasing effect in both style and function throughout the entire location.
2. Choose the right temperature
Again, the temperature, much like the fixture type, should be mixed throughout the dental office. For instance, a cooler light temperature to mimic daylight and alertness is great for areas such as the waiting room where patients will need to fill out paperwork correctly whereas warmer temperatures in the exam room can help to relax patients right before the procedure begins.
3. Choose LED over fluorescent
While fluorescent was once the standard in all lighting applications, LED technology is certainly a strong competitor in the industry. LED offers a better return in the initial cost of installing the lights in terms of energy consumed to create the lumen output, as well as being better for the environment than fluorescent. They are also low to no heat emitting which is ideal for exam rooms where you want to create as comfortable of an environment as possible. If you already have fluorescent fixtures in place, the best part is that most fixtures can be upgraded to LED lamps with ease.
4. Pay attention to where light will spread/fall
In both the exam rooms and the waiting room, where the light output will fall is crucial to the experience of the patient. While having the surgical lamp close to the face of the patient is somewhat inevitable, there are steps you can take to make the rest of the lighting less invasive. A good way to do this is to place diffuser shields in overhead lighting and look at how much uplight and downlight each fixture type in the office creates.
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