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The Leaflet Article

Featured Article:

10 Ways LED Lights Will Improve Your Health Care Facility

Dustyn Ferguson

To all of those who operate and overlook operations within hospitals and healthcare facilities, I bet you can agree with me when I say that we are always looking for ways to improve safety, well-being of staff and patients, all while lowering costs throughout the facility.

In a perfect world, we could make changes that would make our facility as safe as possible for everyone without worrying about costs, but we sadly don’t live in such a world.

We live in a world where all of our decisions come back down to costs and if it will ‘make sense’ to the overall well-being of our facility. So this post is going to hopefully open up a new opportunity that has benefits of safety, as well as cost driven factors.

What exactly are we talking about?

We are talking about the replacement of old lighting fixtures (like fluorescent tubes) in healthcare facilities with new and much safer and more efficient lights known as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These LEDs are seemingly a ‘perfect world’ solution to your issues; as you will be able to tell by the end of this post.

How about we start off with the first way that these LEDs will greatly improve your health care facility, shall we?

 

1. They Don’t Contain Mercury

While older technology light fixtures contain mercury (such as fluorescent tubes), LEDs do not contain any hazardous materials within them.

If an LED is broken, the only thing you need to be careful of is the glass for no other reason except it is sharp (like all glass is)

. If you didn’t know what mercury is, it’s a toxic heavy metal which shouldn’t even be allowed in such fragile environments like a hospital. Exposure to mercury can lead to metal poisoning, and in really bad cases lead to death. By making the switch over to LEDs you will be making your healthcare facility a much safer place with this factor alone.

2. They Will Never Flicker

Due to the nature of LED technology, they will never flicker during their entire lifespan. If you have old lights in your facility currently, you may have seen or even received complaints about flickering lights from employees or even patients due to their headache inducing effects.

Being around a flickering light all day is never a good thing because not only is it annoying, but it puts much more strain on your eyes than if the lights weren’t flickering. And if it isn’t obvious, flickering lights can produce very dangerous situations for both the patients and employees. It can cause reactions from patients who are sensitive to flickering lights, but it can also disorient doctors while performing surgeries and such other important activities.

Luckily with LEDs, even if they are near the end of their lifespan, you won’t experience any flickering of the lights. Not to sound excessive, but this can seriously be a life saving change when it comes to healthcare facilities.

Oh and if this hasn’t been enough to convince you to go with LEDs, they will never ever make that buzzing noise either which also can cause interruptions in a healthcare environment.

3. Reduction of Energy Costs

If you haven’t been convinced by the other two factors regarding the benefits of LED lights for a healthcare facility, I’m sure this one will surely catch your attention.

On top of a much safer environment with LEDs installed, they also consume less energy and can still output the same (if not more) amount of light (or lumens) per bulb. And we all know that less energy used means a lower utility bill every month.

How much can you save?

If you replace out your old lighting fixtures and replace them with LEDs, you can save upwards of 50% or more through reduced energy consumption.

Here’s another great tip; while replacing your fixtures you can save even more money by simply retrofitting existing fixtures instead of completely replacing them. By retrofitting your fixtures instead of replacing them entirely, the cost savings can be even greater.

4. Higher Quality of Light

The quality of light an LED produces is typically, if not always, higher in quality when compared to other types of lights. This is measured as the Color Rendering Index (CRI), and it more often than not comes up with a better rating than it’s competition.

This goes along with the entire safety aspect that these lights offer for health care facilities. By having a higher quality of light in your facility, you will greatly reduce any errors or confusion that other lower-quality lights might cause.

5. Add Smart Controls for Additional Savings

By adding motion sensored smart controls which will only activate the lights when there is activity within an area is a great way to save even more with your new lights. Here are some practical examples of where you could implement smart controls:

•Down hallways that are not continuously walked through

•An emergency operation room - no need to distract attention by having to turn on the lights manually Obviously there are tons of situations in which these smart controls can be useful, you’ve just got to get creative and find what makes sense.

6. Brighter Lighting Than The Others

Yet again LEDs are creating a much safer environment for healthcare facilities through brighter lighting. If your lights are dim and not producing enough light to see everything perfectly, you have an issue.

Bright lights also reduce confusion and promote safer environments for all who are involved within the facility.

7. Lifespans of LEDs Are Longer

Not only do LED lights last longer, but they last alot longer. When comparing an LED to a fluorescent light, LEDs can last up to five times longer or more.

Thus, you won’t have to keep paying people to switch out the light bulbs nearly as much which is just another cost reduction aspect of switching over to LEDs.

8. Less Heat is Produced

LEDs are famously known for producing significantly less heat than any other bulb. By having a light in place that doesn’t generate as much heat from running, you will be able to more accurately maintain a steady temperature throughout your facility.

Instead of having to offset the heat that some other lights produce with air conditioning or other cooling methods, you don’t have to offset the heat produced as much when you have LEDs installed.

9. Rebates are Offered

Did you know that utility companies offer rebates for certain lighting fixtures? Since LEDs are so efficient, you will find that utility companies will typically offer rebates if you were to make the switch over to LEDs.

But beware; typically the only time you will be eligible to receive rebates is if the fixtures are Energy Star or DesignLights Consortium listed products. Being listed on either of these two places basically means that the lights are even more efficient than the rest. And for a company to get their lights listed on either one of these two places isn’t easy. It requires efficient technology that beats the rest, and not everyone is doing this so beware of who is listed and who is not before committing to a purchase.

A good thing to remember is this: Always buy DesignLights Consortium or Energy Star listed products. Why wouldn’t you want to? They are more efficient and will save you even more money and on average these listed products don’t cost more either.

10. LEDs Don’t Produce UV Light

Ultraviolet (UV) light is never produced with an LED bulb. Want to know why you don’t want a light that doesn’t emit UV lights? Here’s why: UV light attracts flies, and flies are not very sanitary especially in a healthcare environment. They are known to carry diseases which can affect human health, and this isn’t something you want at home let alone a hospital.

Conclusion

Although many things in business have costs and downsides to them, making the switch over to LEDs seemingly has no downsides. Here are the two main benefits of making the switch that we’ve listed in this article:

•Reduces energy consumption, which in turn reduces energy costs

•Creates safer environment for both employees and patients

Well obviously the downside to this would be the initial investment of purchasing the new lighting fixtures. But if you write out the numbers, you will see that they will eventually pay themselves off and it’s an overall smart investment for any facility.

To sum it all up, if there was only one thing you could to improve your facility, LEDs is probably a priority. They create a safer place for everyone, reduces costs, and overall makes everyone (even the bottom line) happier.

If you overlook a hospital or healthcare facility, you should research healthcare lighting fixtures and start making some calls to get this on top of your to-do list. You won’t regret it.

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