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A brand of


    Healthcare facilities as part of the built environment

    Part 2 of a 3-part series on lighting for health and well-being


    Healthcare facilities may serve specialized functions for specific audiences, but they are still part of the commercial real estate environment, and as such are part of one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) on the planet. Commercial building operations, in fact, account for 37% of all GHG emissions worldwide.

    For this reason, energy efficiency, low carbon, and net zero retrofits are top of the agenda for important climate ambitions and initiatives like the Paris Agreement, the EU Green Deal, and the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US. According to Building Performance Institute Europe, building renovations in the EU need to increase to 3% per year to meet 2030 and 2050 targets.


    This represents an urgent global problem, but it’s also an enormous opportunity for healthcare owners and managers who want to do their part and promote their reputation as socially and environmentally conscientious businesses. The healthcare sector has one of the lowest LED conversion rates among professional indoor application areas, with an estimated 60% or more of the lighting still conventional.


    Research shows that 38% of CO2 emissions come from buildings, and 21% of the energy within healthcare facilities is consumed by lighting. One-to-one LED retrofits, where you simply swap a conventional lamp, tube, or bulb with an LED equivalent, can instantly lower lighting-related energy consumption by 50% or more.


    These numbers are supported by real-world examples. Sanitas Dental, in Spain, reduced energy consumption by 50% and maintenance costs by 80% in its Milenium Dental Clinics by switching their lighting to LED. Hospitales Vithas Nisa, also in Spain, reduced their lighting energy consumption by 64% by switching to LEDs, at the same time eliminating more than 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

    Maximizing energy efficiency with connectivity


    Figures like those above represent the minimum energy-efficiency benefit that healthcare facilities are able to receive from digitalizing their lighting. With connected LED lighting management systems, lighting-related energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 80%.


    Connected LED lighting systems add wired or wireless data communications to LED luminaires, allowing the light points in a building to share information about their status and operations. This allows the lighting system to be remotely monitored and centrally managed. Dimming schedules, motion-sensing schemes, and occupancy analysis can all be used as strategies to deliver the right levels of light when and where they’re needed, and to minimize usage when spaces aren’t being used and no people are present.


    Connected LED lighting systems typically use standard communications methods such as Ethernet, wireless Ethernet (Wi-Fi), and DALI. This opens the door for integration with other connected systems within a building, such as HVAC, security, scheduling, and so on—with the potential not only to save additional energy, but also to make the facility more responsive and supportive to both patients and staff. They do this by creating a platform for smart, targeted capabilities that can be distributed throughout a facility’s illuminated spaces and activated as patient and staff needs require.

    Going beyond energy efficiency with connected LED lighting


    A connected lighting system creates a digital, connected, and distributed infrastructure that provides both high-quality, reliable illumination and smart, high-bandwidth communication for unprecedented intelligence and insight across a facility’s illuminated spaces.​


    Connected lighting can provide a reliable backbone for a smart ecosystem that is upgradeable, adaptable, and flexible. With sensors of various kinds, the lighting system can collect actionable data on the status of and activities in illuminated spaces throughout a facility, offering insight for providing the best lighting conditions as well as capabilities that go beyond illumination.


    A good way to think about the difference between a conventional lighting system and a connected lighting system is to think about the difference between a conventional telephone and a smartphone. You can use both simply to make voice calls, but a whole host of additional capabilities—enabled by high-speed connectivity and a distributed network—come along with the smartphone “for free.” You can continue to use your smartphone just for making calls, while collecting rich data on your calls and calling habits. But you can also activate the additional capabilities—email, flashlight, timers and alarms, wayfinding, in-context information, emergency services, blue light suppression at night, and so on—whenever you need them, and without making any changes to your hardware.


    So too with connected LED lighting. You can continue to use your lighting for illumination, but a whole host of additional capabilities—also enabled by connectivity and a distributed network—come along with the hardware “for free.” You can continue using your lighting system just for illumination, while collecting rich data on your lighting activities, energy consumption, system outages and other issues, and so on. But you can also activate additional capabilities—wayfinding and other real-time location services, circadian lighting, personalized scene setting, environmental monitoring, automatic alerting, and so on—whenever you need them, and without making any changes to your hardware.


    Read part 3 of our 3-part article on lighting for health and well-being in hospitals.

    About the author

    Elina Dayanova, Signify

    Elina Dayanova, global healthcare practice leader, Signify



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