COLOR TUNING LIGHT BENEFITS IN SENIOR CARE
A demonstration was recently completed at a Senior Care Facility in Sacramento, California that intended to study “how tunable-white lighting affects the sleep patterns, nighttime safety, and other behaviors of residents, including those with Alzheimer’s or related dementias.” They also wanted to “better equip the caretakers and nursing staff to provide excellent care by improving the quality of lighting in the trial space, relative to the incumbent lighting.”
Healthcare facilities in the United States rank as one of the highest in terms of energy use, in which lighting accounts for about 40% of the facility’s energy (p3). Others ranking in the top five include hospitals, food service, and groceries.
With the aging population, there is an increased demand for these types of facilities, and in the recent years, it has been discovered that lighting has a much larger effect on the patients than just for visual needs. A recent discovery had been made that shows the non-visual effects of light, including the “importance of light to the natural cycle of sleeping and waking.” (p3) This is more commonly known as melatonin secretion cycles, which rise late in the day and remain high for most of the evening. This helps you sleep. Melatonin is then suppressed during the early morning to wake up and keep you awake. This sequence is very susceptible to light, which can disrupt its natural cycle. The suppression and increase of melatonin directly affects the sleep cycle and circadian rhythm.
“The disturbed sleep seen in nursing home residents may be due to changes in circadian rhythms. Human circadian rhythms are biological cycles of about 24 hours that include sleep/wake, body temperature, and melatonin secretion cycles. Circadian rhythms are controlled by the supra-chiasmata nucleus of the hypothalamus. In normal aging and in Alzheimer’s disease, the supra-chiasmata nucleus deteriorates, contributing to alterations in circadian rhythms.” (p4)
During the study, new lighting was placed in an area of the facility where long-term care is given. Color tunable white lighting was installed into the nurses’ station, resident rooms, hallway, and the family room. These were programmed to specific control settings throughout the day. In the morning, between 7am and 2pm, the hallways were lit at 66% output and 6500K. From 2pm-6pm, the lights were tuned to 4000K at 66% output. The evenings between 6pm and 7am consisted of 2700K at 20% output. The resident rooms were also put on a program relatively similar with lights being either off completely or at 2400K between 8pm and 7am.
After testing this lighting system, the following conclusions were made:
- “Energy Savings for the tunable white LED luminaires used resulted in a 68% energy saving relative to the fluorescent system.”
- “Light levels in the resident rooms were inadequate with the fluorescent system but met or exceeded IES recommendations for the over 65 age group with the LED system.”
- With the ability to change CCT and light output, the nurses were able to stimulate melatonin in patients in the morning and reduce stimulation in the evening resulting in better sleep patterns.
- “Health related benefits resulted from this lighting change. For example, target behaviors such as yelling, agitation, and crying were reduced by an average of 41% for residents.”
- “Nursing staff noted…residents had been consistently sleeping through the night since installation, and they psychotropic and sleep medication use had been significantly reduced…” (Piv)
- The number of falls decreased significantly.
As you can see, light levels and color temperature can have significant effects on patients in healthcare facilities. With the invention of color tunable white lighting, we have the ability to capitalize on the benefits this system has to offer while making life more enjoyable for these patients. All of this can be achieved using Chameleon Lighting’s NEW SV2 series. Check out our website for more information!
Source: Gateway Demonstrations: Tuning the Light in Senior Care: Evaluating a Trial LED Lighting System at the ACC Care Center in Sacramento, CA. Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, August 2016