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Lighting. Why upgrade?

Benefits for your organization

It goes without saying that natural light is the optimal lighting solution but, since exposure to natural light isn’t always possible in buildings, advanced lighting systems are the next best thing.  Here are some of the specific ways new lighting technologies can benefit your business.

If you're in education ...

LED educational lighting offers many benefits for schools that are challenged with tight budgets and limited resources. Optimal lighting creates a healthier and more productive learning environment.  Studies have shown that the lighting has a direct impact on student focus, attendance, cognitive skills, and performance. While reducing energy costs remains a priority for most school districts, an increasing number are exploring the non-energy benefits of lighting. These include:

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1. Better-rested students.

  • Studies show that students today sleep approximately two hours less than they did in the past, with 68.9% of students reporting insufficient sleep. Lack of proper sleep can lead to behavioral issues. Recent research suggests that sleep deprivation resulting from the disruption of the circadian rhythm is the most likely cause for  50% - 80% of ADHD.

  • Lighting systems that deliver higher light intensities and color temperature are proving to improve both the duration and quality of sleep—thereby improving the ability to learn.

2. Improved mood, focus and behavior

  • People are particularly sensitive to blue light—the main color we see when we’re outdoors. Blue light suppresses melatonin—the brain chemical that makes us feel sleepy. Exposure to blue light has been found to decrease depression, improve mood, energy, alertness and productivity.

    • The opposite is also true – high-intensity fluorescent and dim, poorly-lit spaces negatively affect people’s mood, health and productivity. The ‘white noise’ resulting from fluorescent lighting can cause problems (headaches, eyestrain, and increased repetitive behavior) for autistic students who can be sensitive to the flickering.

  • Upgrading lighting systems has proven to improve focus, concentration and relaxation.  Specifically, color tuning, can play a significant role improving student health and wellbeing.

    • Using cooler color temperatures in the morning helps students wake up and become more alert, helping with their mental cognition and their ability to learn.

    • It has also been found that blue-enriched white light reduces restlessness and aggressive behavior among students when compared with standard white light

    • Research completed by the Universities of Mississippi and Texas, respectively, revealed that cool color temperatures can improve the behavior of students who are hyperactive or have learning disabilities

3. Improved test scores

  • Several studies have investigated the effects of light on student performance—showing conclusively that proper LED lighting can improve concentration, reading speed, comprehension, lower error rates, and boost productivity— significantly improving academic performance.

  • According to a 2014 study, classrooms with inadequate lighting design restrict access to visual information and, accordingly, suppress learning ability.

  • A study conducted in 2012 showed that skills in reading aloud were increased for 38% of pupils working under variable lighting conditions, compared with only 18% for those under normal white light.​

  • Another study focused on two classrooms of students taking math tests.

    • One classroom was illuminated with standard fluorescent lighting, and the other classroom had LED lights that were fitted with an artificial “daylighting” option that mimics natural daylight.

    • Students were more alert and scored significantly higher on tests in the classroom outfitted with simulated LED lighting.

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If you're in healthcare ...

Since most hospitals have limited access to natural daylight, artificial lighting plays a crucial role in day-to-day operations. Although LED lighting is initially perceived as a maintenance and cost savings initiative (LED lighting can reduce lighting energy costs up to 70%), upgrading to human-centric LED lighting and controls produces measurable improvements in terms of patient experience and recovery times, as well as staff performance and job satisfaction. Effective lighting also helps reduce accidents and errors and improves security for both patients and staff.

 

The major advantages that upgraded lighting systems provide for healthcare facilities include:

1. Improved patient recovery times

Human-centric lighting offers many benefits for healthcare facilities—especially hospitals, long-term care and assisted living facilities where patients spend long periods of time indoors.

While doctors, nurses and staff require high-quality, bright light for accurate diagnosis and treatment, patients fare better with lighting that supports their circadian rhythm and facilitates healthy sleep. Impaired sleep has long been a consequence of time spent in hospitals.

 

Patients struggle with physical discomfort, noise, interruptions and inappropriate light exposure. Upgrading lighting technology can improve patient sleep quality, reduce depression, and decrease length of stay.​​​

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  • Multiple research studies have found abundant evidence connecting upgraded LED lighting with improved patient healing. Daytime exposure to a few hours of bright‐light therapy is proven to have beneficial effects on patient recovery, length of stay, delirium, depression, anxiety and use of pain medication.

    • For example, a study conducted in 2005 found that patients exposed to higher intensity light experienced less perceived stress, marginally less pain, took 22% less analgesic medication per hour, and had 21% lower pain medication costs.

  • Other patient benefits may be less obvious. For example, when McLaren Health Care System in Michigan upgraded 11 of its primary hospitals with smart LED lighting systems, they found that, in addition to cost savings and improved performance, they could reduce noise levels in the evening. Dimming the lights in patient and visitor areas at specified times, signaled that it was time to quiet down and allow patients to rest.

  • Another study found that tunable LED lighting systems in long-term care facilities reduced the rate of falls by 43% compared to standard lighting.

2. Improved staff performance

The work environment in hospitals is inherently stressful. Caregivers suffer the consequences of long hours and shift work. At the same time, they are required to perform a range of complex tasks—charting, filling prescriptions, administering medication, and performing other patient-related .activities.

Irregular day/night light cycles, common in healthcare facilities, disrupts circadian rhythms, mood, productivity, and sleep.

Sleep deprivation, fatigue or drowsiness contributes to:

  • Lack of concentration

  • Irritability

  • Poor or impaired judgement

  • Impaired reaction times

For staff, effective lighting can ease the adjustment to night-shift work and improve performance. ​

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Studies have shown that dimly lit night-shift conditions make caregiving and medical decision-making more difficult. Staff working rotating shifts—particularly those working night shifts—are likely to experience sleepiness, decreased productivity, and impaired safety while on the job. Ongoing studies are finding that night-shift staff may be more alert if they are working under light shifted towards red, rather than blue or white light.

3. Improved patient and staff well-being

  • Research studies have shown that fluorescent lighting can cause headaches and migraines, increased anxiety, decreased concentration, and instill an overall sense of discomfort after long-term exposure.

  • By mimicking the natural coloring of the sunrise/sunset light cycle LED systems can enhance the healing process, increase wakefulness throughout the day and promote better sleep at night. 

4. Improved sanitation

  • Many hospitals and clinics are using UV lighting technology to support sanitation and disinfection protocols.

  • UV light has shown significant reductions in common pathogens associated with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), such as MRSA and Staphylococcus aureus. 

5. Optimal Visibility

  • LED systems distribute colors evenly, resulting in more vivid color renderings for optimal visibility.

  • With fully directional down-lighting, LEDs provide better illumination where doctors and nurses need it.

 

6. Improved safety:

  • Unlike halogen and incandescent bulbs, LEDs do not generate heat—thereby avoiding the risk of combustion

  • Since LEDs do not have filaments or emit radio frequencies, they are sate to use around MRIs and CT scans

If you’re in hospitality …

In the highly competitive world of hospitality, hoteliers are  making an effort to create exceptional experiences for their guests. LED lighting can be an integral part of creating that experience. From the ability to customize fixture design, to the healthy light it provides, Efficient hotel LED lighting can help hotel managers provide exceptional guest experiences while saving on energy and maintenance costs.

 

Since first impressions make a big impact on guests, lighting architects and designers are using LED lights to create unique and inviting spaces.

As LED technology continues to develop, we have been able to completely reimagine the forms, scale and application of luminaries. It has been creatively liberating to be able to think minimally in radically different ways and to realize these design visions without having to package large heat-generating bulbs.”   (Robert Sonneman, Lighting Designer)

 

Some of the key advantages new lighting technologies provide hoteliers include:

1, Improved aesthetics

Hoteliers  are taking advantage of new lighting technologies to create more customized looks and experiences.  For example:

  • New LED technologies provide hotel managers a range of color options to enhance the mood of particular rooms, or time of day. During the dayt, an LED light can emit bright, white light in a hotel lobby. Whereas at night, that same light bulb could shift to blue light for a cooler, more calming look. 

  • And, because LED last so long/don't need to be replaced often, they can be installed in hard-to-reach places, 

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2. Improved safety

  •  Since LED lights can emit a very bright light, they improve guest and employee security in hallways, walkways, and parking lots.

  • The bright light LED emit also helps ward off potential criminal activity.

If you're in retail ...

Challenged by rising inflation, supply chain issues and online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers are looking for new ways to boost business while reducing operating expenses.

Upgrading lighting and controls provides one of the most cost-effective solutions.

LED lighting has evolved beyond being a simple energy-saving measure to being a strategic and cost-effective investment in a retailer’s brand identity and long-term survival. 

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​Besides being energy efficient, new lighting technologies can help retailers:

  • Attract attention and entice shoppers inside their store

  • Create more engaging shopper experiences, thereby increasing time spent in-store

  • Direct shoppers through the facility

  • Enhance the appeal of merchandise and displays

  • Lead shoppers to featured merchandise 

  • Help shoppers find what they want, increasing the average spend per customer