Studies show that higher light levels are linked with better performance of complex visual tasks and light requirements increase with age.By controlling the body’s circadian system, light impacts outcomes in healthcare settings by reducing depression among patients, decreasing length of stay in hospitals, improving sleep and circadian rhythm, lessening agitation among dementia patients, easing pain, and improving adjustment to night-shift work among staff. The presence of windows in the workplace and access to daylight have been linked with increased satisfaction with the work environment. Further, exposure to light is critical for viatmin D metabolism in the human body. Light exposure also is used as a treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.
Adequate and appropriate exposure to light is critical for health and well-being of patients as well as staff in healthcare settings. A combination of daylight and electric light can meet these needs. Natural light should be incorporated into lighting design in healthcare settings, not only because it is beneficial to patients and staff, but also because it is light delivered at no cost and in a form that most people prefer.
2In addition to “feeling good,” natural light entering the eye activates or effects a number of specific physiological processes, specifically the fluctuations in biological activity and behavior coinciding with the 24 hour day/night cycle, the human circadian rhythm. Light can affect body temperature and the hormones cortisol and melatonin, which in turn effect the body’s ability to deal with fatigue and stress. Removing barriers between “inside” (patients and workers) and the “outside” and consciously designing cues (both natural and electric) to engage the circadian rhythm can positively affect alertness, the immune system and energy levels.
Ultimately, using less artificial light and enhancing natural daylight in healthcare can improve patient and staff well-being, however, this can be difficult to achieve while also ensuring patient privacy and safety; a balance between patient privacy and enhancing natural daylight can be a challenge.
VISTAMATIC consistently strives, not only to provide a solution for patient privacy with its privacy glass solutions, but also to enhance the elements that are important for patients as well as healthcare staff members. Recently, VISTAMATIC certified its black and white vinyl graphic options to provide a ‘black-out’ effect against light transmittance in areas where light must be restricted (i.e. sleep deprivation centers, sleep studies, etc.). In addition to this certification, VISTAMATIC also certified its sandblasted graphic option to enhance natural daylight, the results were enlightening. These three graphic options (black and white vinyl and sandblast) may be applied to every VISTAMATIC Vision Panel.View the complete Visible Light Transmittance Report for all options.