“Hospital Lighting” Gets a Health Update

The folks from Philips Hue want to change what you think about “hospital lighting.” While harsh, fluorescent lights may be conducive to procedures, they can have a counterproductive effect on healing. Enter the Philips Hue wireless, portable LED system that lets users select more than 16 million colors via the Hue app. Users can program Hue to create certain moods using color, mimic daylight cycles, or provide distraction for children with patterns on walls. Philips partnered with The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to install lights in the pediatric intensive care unit, and while the program is still new, researchers believe the lights are helping patients sleep more soundly and avoid delirium. In addition, the system has reduced energy consumption costs per room, allowing the hospital to direct the savings toward other improvements.

Historically, health systems have considered lighting from a functional perspective – what if we considered light from a patient’s perspective? What changes might we make? Where could calming blues and greens or warm, cheerful yellows make a difference for patients and guests in the healing process?