The role of color in health care lighting

Health care interior environments include a number of elements that must work together to create a healing space, and everyone’s experience is unique. But did you know that the color of light can have a profound effect on circadian rhythms, which affect a patient’s ability to heal more quickly?

We read a few key findings in the most recent issue of Health Facilities Management:

  • Light with a cool blue color tend to suppress the nocturnal fall of the core temperature and the amount of melatonin produced by the body.
  • Warm light does not suppress either of these biological reactions.

In simple terms, cool light at night essentially wakes up the body. Research also shows the influence of light in different temperatures on humans affects blood pressure and heart rate.

So what are the options for lighting design in these environments? Interior designers may not have control over the light emitted by monitors and medical equipment, but they can control the colors of the light sources and provide the correct lamps in the spaces they design.

What do you think the future holds for lighting design in unique environments like health care facilities? Do you see lighting technology becoming capable ¬†of simulating a day’s change in light color? We’d love to hear from designers on their strategy for choosing lighting color in different applications!

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