Lighting for Care of Others

Enabling life in the care of the elderly.

Did you know lighting directly affects how you feel and how you interact with people?

In our lighting design work, we come to understand the need for “connected wellness”, the need for human and environmental connection with the diversity of life around us. Understanding insights into the power of light helps us develop lighting solutions that target enhancing social interaction between people and improving health and vision.

To light for care well we need lighting solutions that meet both visual and non-visual needs. Four key design goals when lighting for care are set out below.

senior person sleeping next to an alarm clock

Biological
Exposure to natural light improves mood, cognitive function, and sleep patterns. Implementing circadian lighting systems that mimic natural daylight supports the regulation of sleep-wake cycles and fosters overall well-being by synchronizing internal biological rhythms. Key lighting design outcomes to promote good health and provide preventative care are:

  • reinforce our natural circadian rhythms
  • enhance sleep quality
  • improving our cognitive function
  • improving mood and fighting depression
  • lighting issues: colour and intensity of light following natural daylight patterns
senior person lifting up his glasses and looking at his phone

Visual
As we age, our eyes undergo changes that can affect our vision and the way we perceive light. These changes impact the way we design lighting for aged care. Key lighting design outcomes for the safety of residents and the provision of an enhance level of care for staff are:

  • Provide enhance fall protection
  • Allow the easy reading of spaces to give a sense of safety and security
  • Facilitate wayfinding, easy orientation
  • Facilitate accurate visual diagnosis and treatments
  • Support care functions for shift workers
  • Lighting issues: task lights, glare, uniformity/contrast, higher light levels and transitions between spaces (older people require more light and are more sensitive to glare)
a group of senior men sitting together knitting and laughing

Emotional
Lighting shapes the way we feel about the spaces we are in. Design lighting to create calm, relaxing spaces will relax people and promote a sense of connection between occupants. Key lighting design outcomes are:

  • Residential rather than institutional ambience
  • Relaxing spaces that help natural connections between people
  • Sense of quality, generating a feeling of belonging, ownership
  • Lighting issues: design quality, lighting in layers, scale, vertical illumination ads surface reflectivity and colour temperature
a senior couple relaxing on a park bench

Sustainable
Sustainability is maintaining our natural resources and environment to maintain ecological balance – we all enjoy living as part of a connected system of biodiversity. Key lighting design outcomes for the creating a sustainable building are:

  • Enhancing the feeling of connection to place
  • Reduce the energy consumption of the lighting system
  • Reduce on-going maintenance of the lighting system
  • Minimise light pollution, protect and nurture the local natural habitat for nocturnal life
  • Automated lighting control based on presence and availability of daylight
  • Lighting issues: daylight harvesting, presence detection, dimming, landscape light, longevity

Based on these design goals we have compiled a series of lighting tips for better lighting for Aged care, for your free pdf download please click here.

Share this post with your friends