Signs of Life for Hospital Lighting
By: Accurate Technologies
LED technology holds the promise of dramatically lower energy consumption. This translates directly into a friendlier monthly bill from the local electric utility, an immediate benefit. But that’s not where the advantage of LED lighting ends. Maintenance budgets will also see a reduction, since the new generation of lighting requires little maintenance, meaning bulb and ballast changes, over a longer lifespan- sometimes as long as 15 years.
While most commercial buildings currently use fluorescent lighting as an energy efficient light source, LEDs are characteristically superior in several ways. As just mentioned above, LED lighting emits greater light output per unit of energy input than fluorescent. Secondly, less frequent maintenance. But here are some more subtle issues that may not be as obvious to the financial decision maker faced with the decision to upgrade the lighting.
Toxicity: fluorescent lighting technology necessarily requires the presence of elemental mercury (http://en.wikipedia.org/
Flickering: fluorescent lighting actually blinks on and off at a high frequency, usually 120 times per second (http://en.wikipedia.org/
Working with a conscientious lighting designer has it’s advantages as well. Not all fixtures are cost effective candidates for retrofitting or upgrading. It’s important to know the relative cost vs. benefit of every option, and a good designer will recognize the most advantageous places to start. Parking areas and corridors are generally the first places to consider, since the lighting in these areas rarely shuts off.
Finally, a thorough business proposal is essential for clear decision making. All available financial factors should be analyzed, and the results of the analysis should be presented with no confusion.
While today’s business environment is challenging for healthcare facilities, lighting choices can provide some relief for financial and maintenance decision makers.