+86 755 2955 3255 ext. 3192

Home  >  News > Latest News

Quality lighting dose count

Dec. 03, 2020


Quality lighting dose count


As the increasing focus is placed on safety and health during the COVID-19 pandemic, facility management leaders and their partner organizations are tasked and entrusted with providing spaces that enhance occupants’ health and well-being. Fortunately, due to the rapid growth of building technologies over the past decade, there has never before been so many options to improve the performance of interior environments. One of the most straightforward means of doing so is through upgraded lighting. Advanced lighting systems can provide more amicable and productive environments, improve facility hygiene through UV technology, and quarterback building energy efficiency. That is to say that lighting can deliver far more than just light and energy savings.

How Can Human-Centric Lighting Help

The latest advances in human-centric lighting (HCL) incorporate high-quality lighting with electronics, software, and networking technologies, that optimize building performance for occupant safety and health. HCL is lighting that considers both the visual and non-visual effects of light to enhance individuals’ physiological and psychological health and well-being.

The concept, only first emerging circa 2013, has grown rapidly over the past few years. These capabilities, including (but not limited to) flicker-free, dimmable, color-tunable lighting, as well as UV disinfection, have the potential to elevate safety and boost occupant comfort, morale, and productivity, helping organizations regain their footing to come back from these challenging times more quickly. In addition, improved energy efficiency through quality LED lighting can bolster an organization’s bottom line, helping to backfill foregone profit on lost revenue over the past several months.

Return on Productivity. While a desire to improve energy efficiency often initiates the LED discussion, other non-energy benefits can provide a far greater financial return. JLL’s real estate industry rule of thumb, called the “3-30- 300™”, states that on average it costs a building $3 per square foot in utilities, $30 per square foot in rent, and $300 per square foot in payroll each year. If improved lighting reduces unproductive time by even just five minutes per day, making occupants just 1% more productive, the financial impact would equate to eliminating 100% of the energy spending in the facility.

A Switch to Circadian Lighting. An immediate and impactful option to improve occupant well-being and productivity is circadian lighting, which alters the output wavelength and intensity of the light to match how the human body’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, naturally responds. Occupants could use brighter, higher color temperature, more bluish light to suppress melatonin and raise alertness during the day, and dimmer, lower color temperature, more yellowish light to allow the secretion of melatonin that induces calmness later in the afternoon or evening.

ARK, for example, leverages on existing AC powerline to provide energy-efficient, flicker-free, dimmable, and color-tunable lighting, or circadian lighting, with a change of the wall switch and the fluorescent or LED lamps, without the need of pulling new data cables or introducing wireless communication protocols that might be subject to cybersecurity risks. Especially LED strips & linear high bay.

Syncing of our body’s circadian rhythm is particularly critical considering the current pandemic. Sleeping is emerging as the latest casualty of the COVID-19 crisis.” Sleep could be affected by the new schedules that have many people spending even less time outside, resulting in not getting that much-needed sunlight. Daniel A. Barone, MD, FAASM, FAAN, associate medical director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep, told NeurologyToday, “Sunlight is our biggest zeitgeber — literally ‘time giver.’” With people spending almost 90% of the waking time indoors, quality, circadian artificial lighting in spaces will facilitate optimal productivity during the day and rest during the night, particularly during the winter season when sunlight is weaker.

The intimate relationship between sleep health and immune health is the driver for the most powerful benefits of circadian lighting. Studies have shown that individuals who obtain less than seven hours of sleep have an almost threefold increased likelihood of becoming infected by the rhinovirus — the common cold — relative to those who get eight hours or more. Additional research found that individuals with insomnia may have compromised immune function, potentially leaving them more vulnerable to infection. By promoting sleep quality through circadian lighting, occupants may have another tool to support the immune system.

UV Disinfection. As COVID-19 continues to linger, more immediate benefits of HCL can be achieved by installing modular UV lighting systems, such as ARK Lighting smart troffers, with built-in UV-C disinfection and TLEDS (tubular LEDs). This upgrade can provide constant, effective air disinfection in facilities when occupants are present, while still providing improved aesthetic, flicker-free, and circadian-ready lighting. Discover more products like LED strips, retrofit kit strips for linear ambient, or LED high bay lights.

Facility executives and managers today are facing unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused dramatically heightened concern about occupant safety and health. Advanced technologies and products surrounding HCL are making it possible to provide highly impactful light quality with disinfection capability that will make facilities more sustainable financially, environmentally, and health-wise, delivering stronger triple-bottom-line impacts. As Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This is the perfect time to transform facilities into the human-centric age through HCL.

The cost of hospital lighting can be staggering. According to National Grid, hospitals in the U.S. spend, on average, $1.67 per square foot on electricity, and lighting alone accounts for approximately  15% of a hospital’s electricity budget. For an average-size hospital building (75,000 square feet) that’s an annual expenditure of $18,000, and for a large hospital building (650,000 square feet), it costs $160,000 to keep the lights on. This is one of the reasons why more and more hospital executives are looking at LEDs (light-emitting diodes, a semiconductor-based light source) for their facilities. 

Benefits of LEDs on Electricity Consumption and the Environment

Quality LEDs can reduce lighting electricity consumption by more than 50%, virtually eliminate maintenance and replacement costs, and their superior quality and efficiency are reflected in a healthier environment. LED tubes are designed to replace fluorescent lighting, the predominant light source for healthcare facilities today, without restricting future lighting options or the need to replace the entire fixture, which contains mostly mechanical parts that could last far longer than the lamps – thus significantly reducing environmental waste.  LED strip retrofit kit the best solution for retrofit. LEDs do not contain hazardous materials such as mercury and their higher efficiency results in decreased CO2 emissions and an overall reduced load on the energy grid—decreasing the need for fossil fuels.


Quality of “Light” is Important

The light output of LEDs is the closest spectral match to sunlight, resulting in better color differentiation, brighter whites, better color saturation, and overall better color vision, according to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bright light is essential for reducing staff errors and is also important for the safety of patients – particularly the elderly. Easier color differentiation can help doctors and nurses with their examinations and surgeries while providing a more comfortable environment for patients. Additionally, the light from LEDs provides brighter, white light with more blue content to effectively suppress melatonin during waking hours, according to a study in Trends in Neurosciences. By suppressing melatonin with the right kind of quality light during the day, patients and staff often feel more awake and alert, resulting in increased productivity, improved mood, and the cascading effects of healthier metabolisms and immune systems, according to research published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. It is equally important to avoid light at night, especially in inpatient rooms or for shift workers. 

Energy Focus is pioneering the development and launch of color-tunable LED tubes and switches to provide affordably dimmable and circadian lighting capabilities for existing buildings. This cycle of bright white light provided by LEDs during waking hours and the avoidance of light during resting hours perpetuates a healthy sleep/wake cycle that is crucial for patient recovery, staff efficiency, and overall health and wellness.

Flicking in Healthcare Settings Can Cause More Than Headaches

An often-overlooked, yet extremely important feature of lighting is AC power-line induced flicker. Power-line induced flicker (changes in light output) occur at 120 cycles per second as a result of the AC power line passing through zero 120 times a second. While electronic ballast-driven fluorescents made dramatic reductions in a flicker from their magnetic ballast-driven predecessors, most other LED products inadvertently reintroduced high flicker rates. Unfortunately, everyone is sensitive to flicker to some degree. For most people, high flicker rates may contribute to headaches, eye strain, and fatigue; acute symptoms that may vary from mildly distracting to severely uncomfortable. In a study published in Current Pain and Headache Reports visual triggers such as flicker account for 38% of reported migraines. 

Certain people, such as those on the autism spectrum, experience visual hypersensitivity, where lighting triggers can result in heightened symptoms. Flicker can also induce seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy, according to the study and recommendation by International League Against Epilepsy. While there are no standards that require lighting manufacturers to remove flicker, IEEE recommends less than 5% flicker to mitigate risks to these populations. Researchers have noted many patients with traumatic head injuries can experience severe light sensitivity, making flicker a crucial concern for lighting in healthcare facilities. 

In addition to negative health effects, flicker can also cause technology to malfunction, creating safety hazards for important healthcare machinery. Flicker can cause a stroboscopic effect, or aliasing, which is a visual phenomenon where an object in motion appears at a series of locations simultaneously. This can pose a hazard with fast-moving machinery or even in robotic surgeries. Other mechanical equipment, such as barcode scanners, may not function under flickering lights. From security cameras to recorded medical procedures, to scanning identification badges or prescriptions, flickering lights can introduce unnecessary and avoidable safety hazards to a healthcare facility. Certain LED products and technologies such as those from ARK Lighting are guaranteed to not interfere with medical equipment while providing added safety and health benefits. 

With the cost savings, sustainability impacts, and health benefits that quality LED lighting presents, hospital executives could be enlightened by exploring their options on how to implement LED lighting at their facilities in the most timely manner and realize an immediate positive impact on management, staff, and patients alike. 



Contact Us
  • Tel.: +86 755 2955 3255 ext. 3192
  • Fax: +86 755 2955 3313
  • E-mail:
  • Add.: 10th F, Bldg 5, Gate 2, Area A, Huafeng No.1 Science and Technology Park, Sanwei, Bao'an District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
Follow Us