Circadian lighting’s time has come

September 5, 2018

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There is a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that proper light exposure can help keep our circadian rhythms (our internal 24-hour clock) in sync with the sun. Doing so can improve sleep, mood, and our metabolic function. Lighting is important in any facility, but especially important in healthcare, where exposure to dim artificial light coupled with frequent interruptions of sleep can slow recovery and cause behavioral problems.


Circadian lighting tunes indoor lights to mimic the brightness and color of the sun as it changes during the day. So you have bright, bluish light in the morning that gradually grows more yellow as the day goes on, until it ultimately gets as dark as possible. Circadian lighting systems are made possible by LED lights, which are easier to control color and intensity unlike fluorescent lights. Although these systems are more expensive than regular LED lights, the prices are beginning to come down.


The Medical Behavioral Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) installed circadian lighting in January 2017. Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center (SMC) did as well. Over a year into use, both facilities are pleased with the results, with 69% of SMC’s staff reporting being satisfied with the lighting comfort.


For more information on updating your lighting system, contact Vanguard Resources.