Psychiatric hospitals

The overall aim of circadian lighting is to improve the quality of the patients' sleep.


  • DateSeptember, 2014
  • ClientAalborg, Ballerup, Bispebjerg, Esbjerg and Vejle Psychiatric Hospitals
  • Categories

Therapeutic lighting should positively contribute to the hospital's basic purpose - to make sick people well. Among the things psychiatric patients need most when they are admitted is sleep – the essential prerequisite for which, is light during the day and dark at night.

Colour–dynamic lighting supports the body’s circadian rhythm and the production of melatonin, which is essential for good sleep. This is combined with sensitive lighting design, which creates a safe and comfortable environment that is as homely as possible.

At Esbjerg Psychiatric Hospital for example, light levels during the day are more than twice the specified standard, (minimum 450 lux on the eye of the general lighting) combined with illumination from wall fixtures, shelves, and so on. The light is simultaneously cool white with a color temperature of up to 5600 K in the late morning.

Patients, who suffer from anxiety, often sleep with the lights on. All the lighting fixtures in the patient areas are part of the circadian rhythm lighting, independently of where the lamps are located. Lamps can be switched on and off manually, but when at night, a patient turns on a bed lamp, the blue and green LEDs in the RGBWW LED lighting are eliminated, and so it has a significantly lower level and a different spectral distribution than during the day.

The key benefit of RGBWW lighting is, that although parts of the spectrum can be emphasized or eliminated, in broad terms the light is still experienced as “white”.

Scope of work could include:

  • 100% “White Light” LED lighting.
  • Impartial, client specific consultancy and professional documentation.
  • Visually and physiologically superior lighting design solutions, for both daylight and artificial light.
  • Visualisation, tests and mock-ups.
  • Complete analysis, description and specification of hardware and LED.
  • Lighting control specification and commissioning that integrate daylight and artificial lighting scenarios.

Example specification for circadian lighting in a psychiatric hospital.

The intention is to create a humane visual environment with the highest quality of light that supports the body's circadian rhythm, and promotes better quality sleep. The solution also meets the requirements of the ward's daily activities, maintenance, security and hygiene.


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