Haley Driscoll Quoted in Healthcare Design
The Now and Future Light
The fast-expanding use of LEDs in the past decade has posed challenges for lighting design specialists to specify systems for hospitals that are sometimes several years from completion.
Of all the products needed to build new healthcare facilities or update existing ones, none has undergone the basic changes in section criteria that lighting has. While components like HVAC systems and building envelopes have been improved upon incrementally over time, lighting has been rocked by the growing use of LEDs (light-emitting diodes). This shift has changed the way architects, lighting designers, and healthcare facility decision-makers approach this specific piece of building puzzle, evaluating the cost of lighting buildings and the quality of the light that's emitted and its effects on patients and staff.
Studies comparing traditional fluorescent lighting to LED illumination in healthcare facilities indicate that LEDs offer an effective strategy for energy savings with fixtures rated to operate for 50,000 or more hours. The studies also state that the visual quality of LED light is maintained over time as the color of the light output (as measured by the color rendering index, or CRI) remains equal to that of the lamp when new. Other benefits include reduced maintenance because of the longer life of LEDs and disposal costs, and smaller physical size, offering flexibility in their use should the activities in the illuminated area be changed. LEDs can be dimmed through a control system that's installed with the fixtures, if more or less light output is required. Once priced at a premium, supply is catching up with demand and the cost differential is narrowing.
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