Importance of Lighting in Hospital Interiors – Part I

At LA Healthcare Design Inc., we believe that understanding the types of lighting used in interior design, and the importance of each type is essential to derive the right approach of interior lighting in any healthcare setting.

Basic Types of Lighting used in Interior Design

This article aims to discuss the basic types of lighting used in an interior design. Hence, we present the major types of lighting that are used in any interior design approach. 

Natural Lighting

This is the most essential lighting type, with the highest healing power. While designing a hospital interior, the first and the foremost factor any designer looks out for, is to ensure that enough sunlight enters the room. A perfect lighting plan is the one that facilitates the entry of adequate sunlight into the interior, also considering factors – the time of the day, the weather, and the season – on which the quality of natural light is dependent.

Meanwhile, candle lights are also considered natural lights but they are mostly used in homes, but not hospitals. A point to be noted is that scented candles do have some kind of restorative environments and can be adopted in homes where elder patients are being taken care of. Moreover, the essence of any interior lighting approach is to ensure that neither too high nor too low levels of sunlight enters a room, and the artificial lighting should help balance the functionality and aesthetics of an interior lighting design.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is used to evenly illuminate an entire room. This type of lighting is the most common version of artificial lighting in any setting. Ambient Lighting is used to provide a shadow-free glow to the interiors. Some of the common ambient lighting fixtures include chandeliers and wall sconces. They are mostly used in the large halls and reception/waiting areas of the hospitals. It helps create a holistic and comfortable environment alongside creating a sense of style to an interior space. Ambient lighting fixtures should also facilitate the adjustment of brightness and warmth to a space; hence, they are accompanied with dimmer switches so that the amount of lighting is completely under control.

Task Lighting

Task Lighting is most commonly observed in home spaces, but sometimes in healthcare spaces. Task lighting can be defined as a concentrated lighting at some corner where more lighting is needed to perform a task. It is basically used in reading, cooking and grooming areas. Most common examples of Task lighting are bedside lamps, directional reading lamps, under cabinet lights, or an appliance light to name a few.

Task lighting prevent damage and tiredness to the eyes given that they enhance visual clarity and are directed towards the light but not the eyes. Interior designers plan to use task lighting in hospital settings in case of certain areas that are used specifically for day-to-day tasks such as reading areas in patient rooms, or on bed side tables in suite rooms for patients, or a nurse stations for staff working overnight. Moreover, switches that are associated with task lighting items are placed attached to them in order to prevent any disturbance to other people in the room.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting helps create visual interest to a specific object in the room. Accent lighting is used to highlight certain things such as an architectural detail, well washers, staircase or stairwell, ceiling, specific objects and plants, to name a few. Accent lighting directs the light in a certain direction, and in order to achieve this effect, the fixtures are designed with a covering. Accent lighting can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping. This type of lighting requires three-fold more intense lighting on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it, in order to be more effective.

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Our primary motivation is to heal the world through our designs. We know environments have an immense impact on our well-being. Our goal is to share knowledge and understanding of how interior design impacts how we feel.

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