altNew technologies, legal requirements of health and well-being of patients, are the factors that have allowed to change the mentality of the lower cost when choosing lighting systems for spaces in the health sector.

Richard St. Sánchez

Until not long ago lighting in specific areas of the health sector, such as laboratories and operating rooms, they were considered as work areas with normal visual tasks, which were limited to meet basic standards of lighting.

But now, according to the architect Luz Piedad Mantilla, professional Lighting Applications Manager of Osram Colombia, this view has changed because the lighting design not only be based on the use of electric energy in the most economical and efficient way additionally should include aspects of human performance and architecture.

"Lighting has psychological influence on human behavior, patients today expect and deserve health care environment that promotes their welfare. Aspects such as the color of light, the arrangement of the luminaires and flexibility in lighting control, will form an integral part in the design proposal and the new features of these buildings are integrated "he added.

Added to this it is that for specific areas of the health sector today are detailed requirements and regulatory levels and auditable system established by each country.

However, according to Jorge Avila, director of Philips Luminaries Mexico, every day there is a greater awareness, new hospitals and new clinics recognize that light environments create comfort, productivity and image; why integrated lighting design as an essential part, from the conceptual proposal entire project, and which must walk hand in hand during all stages of construction and completion of work.

He said "to achieve this, it is important to consider the participation of specialists in the field, which handle various brands and product offerings to achieve a lighting solution that does not favor a product or a brand if not the primary objective of a health center: the patient".

Special conditions
And now the lighting in health centers, whether basic or specialized care, the issue is not based solely on providing visual conditions for the work of doctors or nurses, preventing not dazzles or is low, it also seeks to provide welfare for all who inhabit the space, especially for patients.

These special conditions sluces have become a very important segment for the industry, to the point that today the manufacturers of lighting systems have created dedicated exclusively to research and product development departments for the health sector.

As a result, they are lights that are designed to make electrical equipment operate the lamps do not interfere with the study or treatment equipment, such as CT scanners, MRI, ultrasound, and others.

"Additionally and very importantly, they are built with anti-bacterial materials and airtight seals binoculars that prevent the release of substances and / or adherence of impurities. Just as there are some IP65 protected, watertight, chemical resistant and equipped with fluorescent lamps or LED technology with the latest attacks, "commented the representative of Philips.

The lighting standards for the health sector, said Luz Piedad Mantilla, have also been widely developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, IESNA for its acronym in English.

According to the IESNA, when framing the system must take into account that direct lighting causes glare to the patient and a lack of comfort and, instead, indirect lighting prevents glare and make the patient more comfortable contrasts. Furthermore, in the inspection rooms, as a work area where a detailed visual task is developed, it must meet a level of illuminance to avoid shadows and high CRI light sources.

Meanwhile, Alejandra León Sarinana, senior Lutron Latam Marketing Representative, said that in an operating room is important to have lights dim when the patient enters or wakes up, but there is enough light to perform operations; or even in procedures where the patient is awake it is important to have lighting that help you relax. This is also seen in cuneros and recovery rooms.

Additionally you must maintain the distribution of light, so that fewer teams covering larger spaces not dazzle, light sources that are high-performance color, ie that faithfully reproduce colors; the color is experienced in the faces and in the surrounding objects are the result of the chemical composition of materials and the spectrum of light reflected in them.

Contribution to the process
One of the factors that highlight the three lighting experts about new systems for operating rooms, is the contribution to provide tranquility and calm the patient before medical or surgical procedure. But once the focus shifts operation initiated surgeons, for which lighting levels are adjusted so they can do their job in the best way possible.

"In laboratories, lighting plays an important and distinct role. Because researchers are in these spaces for long periods, the impact of lighting is great. It is very important to take advantage of natural light entering the space and if you do not have natural light, it is advisable to recreate the lighting that better simulates, for this illumination impacts productivity of researchers and can make you tired faster or not "said Alejandra León Sariñana.

In the case of Philips, its new developments point to the use of color and dynamic lighting in cardiovascular rooms to increase workflow, improve visual accuracy for better and more efficient cardiovascular process. In MRI rooms, patients decreased to some extent, the fear of claustrophobia and anxiety.

And in places where the imaging task is highly complex, said Jorge Avila, the control room can be transformed to adapt and respond to the selected patient, taking a major consideration to children, with bright, bold colors, without neglecting the older adults with varying soft colors and pastels.

It is very important to note that good lighting not only produces well-being, it also helps more accuracy in the study and avoids the need to repeat the medical work.

Growing segment
Lighting health sector has been taking a lot of strength in Latin America, benefiting sales for manufacturers. Lutron representatives and Philips highlighted Brazil as one of the main markets of the health sector in the region, but also have successful experiences in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

"For Mexico the 2012 has been an excellent year, investments in the public sector and the private sector, were made in the latter not only in complete hospitals, but we have seen an increasing number of small clinics, monitoring and study also investing. Large chains of laboratories have invested in major expansion of its branches, and from the beginning up more efficient and durable LED systems, "concluded Jorge Avila.

Meanwhile, Alejandra León Sariñana said the market is growing and is expected to continue. "Health centers are understanding and checking the lighting control helps reduce waste light and associated costs thereof, and incorporating natural light helps improve the health of people and increases comfort users. "

Issue of national interest
One of the latest in lighting for the health sector example is El Salvador. After the study by the National Energy Board, CNE, in that country, seeking to implement measures that help with decreasing the cost of building maintenance public health system, they agreed to implement energy saving measures.

Pilot projects will be installed in nine hospitals that have implemented energy analysis in the context of energy audits in public hospitals study, which will be financed by the CNE for an amount of up to US $ 125.000. Among the measures implemented include the installation of efficient lighting and friendly with patients, medical personnel and the environment. The pilot project began in late 2012.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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