Aged Care Facilities: Good lighting techniques

Good lighting practices in the design of an Aged Care facility include:

1. Use of direct and indirect light to makes spaces seem larger and brighter

2.  Create uniform, brighter than average lighting to eliminate shadows

3. Reducing glare wherever possible- this can be done by increasing the surface area of the luminaire

4. Reduce reflections– this can be done by combining the right interior materials with correct lighting (i.e. be especially careful of floor finishes)

5.  Make sure task driven lighting is directional and has a higher lumen output (this refers to tasks such a reading, or carer examinations)

6.  Ensure that lighting can be independently controlled

7.  Follow human centric lighting practices to ensure that they get the right colour temperatures and lighting levels at certain times of the day (using dimmable, tunable LED fittings is a good way to ensure that this is achieved)

8. Use of warm coloured light (yellows, oranges and reds) as guide lights at night, as the yellowing of the lens makes it harder to identify colours of a shorter wavelength (blues and purples)

These good practices result in the following benefits:

1. Fewer falls in residents

2. Less need for intensive overnight care due to return of normalised sleep/wake cycles

3. Happier residents (significant drops in depression and anxiety).

4. Healthier residents (sleep/wake cycles improve, hormone levels balance out)

5. A dramatic improvement in the lifestyle of residents with dementia

6.  A better quality of life for all residents