LED lighting in the healthcare industry: Moving towards a greener future
In the healthcare industry, electricity is used 24x7. Hospitals are the second largest energy consumers as well as producers of greenhouse gases. LEDs are today the preferred lighting choice at hospitals across the world, and this has helped them lower their carbon footprint and energy bills by incorporating green designs.
LED manufacturers offer a wide range of solutions, which are tailored to meet the requirements of the healthcare sector. LED lighting solutions can be used in patients’ rooms, waiting areas, lobbies, etc. The benefits include low maintenance, energy efficiency and the fact that the technology enables the development of products with very specific functionalities. LEDs help to maintain light levels for critical visual tasks, like in the operating theatre.
The latest trend and the most important use of LED lighting is in MRI and CT scan rooms. Apart from that, LED fixtures are being used for general lighting in hospitals.
The three latest trends in the healthcare sector with respect to LED lighting are:
• Display signage, which is used to create a pleasant ambience for bedridden patients.
• Blue LEDs, which are used to cure that newborn babies are sometimes afflicted with—the technology used in D-Rev’s Brilliance device.
• High-brightness LED strips with special colour temperatures that are used for X-ray viewing machines.
Benefits of LEDs in hospitals
• Sealed LED lighting units protect harmful bacteria from spreading in the hospital. The fully-sealed units prevent dust, deadly bugs and harmful bacteria from collecting around the light fittings.
• LED lights are safe for MRIs because they do not use metals that are affected by magnetic fields, nor do they emit radio frequencies. LED tubes and bulbs are dimmable, making them ideal for CT scan and ultrasound rooms, where dimming may be required for better observation and patient comfort.
• The longer life spans of LED lights mean lower maintenance. And quality LED lighting has an overall positive effect on productivity and health.
A few application areas
There isn’t too much of specialisation or a different range of products specifically designed for the healthcare sector. The same products and solutions used for any other indoor lighting requirement are used in the healthcare sector too, though the application may be different. A few application areas are:
• Endoscopy lighting
• Nail curing
• Microscopy lighting
• Surgical headlights
• Surgical and examination lighting
• Medical analysis
• Bilirubin therapy
• Lighting for dental treatment
• Wellness and therapy lighting
What Indian players are offering
LED manufacturers are offering a wide range of solutions tailored to meet the requirements of the healthcare sector.
Cree TrueWhite technology delivers clean, bright light and accurate colour to assist in diagnosis, treatment and in creating a tranquil environment. Cree luminaires require virtually no maintenance for decades, and cut energy costs by as much as 80 per cent.
Philips Lighting supports the healthcare sector by reducing the complexity of solution implementations. It offers healthcare LED lighting solutions that are of high quality and have a high impact, leading to enhanced healing environments with minimum hassle and risk.
Philips offers lighting solutions called HealWell, which are suitable for the patient rooms as they take care of the human body’s natural responses to light. This lighting solution simulates sunlight indoors, allowing patients to maintain their biorhythm and enhancing their sense of comfort and well being.
GE Lighting offers the latest technology for the healthcare sector, increasing lighting quality and cutting down electricity bills significantly. GE lamps and high efficiency ballasts offer a long and reliable life, plus excellent lumen maintenance.
NTL Lemnis offers a range of LED lighting products under the Pharox brand. Its Pharox ceiling lights, Pharox downlights and LED tubelights have been introduced specially to meet the requirements of the healthcare sector.
Premium Lighting Solutions’ LED technologies are suitable for the healthcare sector as they help deliver high quality light at reduced running costs. This is achieved by combining luminaire design with intelligent sensor controls, which smartly turn fittings on and off (or dim them down) when there are no people present or if there is a certain level of ambient daylight.
Features to look for in LED products that are used in hospitals
Listed below are some features that hospitals should look for when using LED products.
Ceiling mounted LED surgical lamps: These should have multiple arms and be fitted with a video camera along with a control panel. They should be dust-resistant, dirtand liquid-resistant, and must not generate heat around the surgeon’s head and around the wound area of the patient.
Back-lit LED integrated operation room display: This display should be fitted with endoscopic cameras, ultrasound cardiology, patient’s vital signs display and must have a multi-touch screen. It should have clinical grey scale and colour reproductions, and the screen size should be large enough.
Built-in LED lighting: This should be well-fitted into the recesses in ceilings or in the wall and should have a high-efficiency light diffuser. By using variable intensity (VI) technology, the intensity of light can be adjusted to meet various application needs.
Flexible examination LED lamp: This lamp can be used universally – standing on the floor, mounted on walls and ceilings, mounted on a roller stand or in mobile mode. It must be adjustable with respect to height and the angles it can be placed at. And it should have a high luminosity (40000lx or more at 5m).
What the future holds
According to an Equentis Capital report, the Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach US$ 158.2 billion in 2017, as it is growing at a CAGR of 15 per cent, having jumped from US$ 45 billion in 2008 to US$ 78.6 billion in 2012. So there is bound to be a huge demand for energy-efficient, innovative LED lighting in this sector.
Philips HealWell lighting solution