Hospital lighting: areas, types of luminaire and requirements

By: Secom
22 de February, 2022
Reading time: 8 min

Hospitals require lighting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In some parts of a hospital, the lighting helps medical staff do their jobs, and in others it helps soothe patients. In certain zones the lighting should be functional and support administrative tasks, while in others it should ensure a safe environment and prevent risks. Few spaces require such complex lighting solutions as hospitals and care facilities.

In this article we will talk about...

  • Why good hospital lighting is so important
  • Zoned hospital lighting
  • SECOM success stories
  • SECOM’s adapted lighting systems

Why good hospital lighting is so important

Hospital lighting has to meet the needs and preferences or several groups of people in a variety of situations. The quality of the work carried out by medical staff and patient well-being both depend on the available lighting.

Improved medical performance

Functional, glare-free lighting is essential for jobs with high visual demands. Elevated, uniform lighting creates the ideal work conditions for precision and high performance tasks. Adequate lighting also combats fatigue.

Patient well-being

Aside from its impact on work and people’s emotions, light also has a biological impact in that it helps regulate our circadian rhythms. The lack of natural light in some hospitals can quickly knock a patient’s biological rhythms out of balance, in turn impacting their well-being. A good lighting system can help solve this problem.

Iluminación de un hospital

Energy efficiency

LED luminaires significantly reduce energy consumption, and improving or modernising a lighting system is generally a profitable option in the long run. For example, with smart lighting control luminaires can be turned off when not needed. Durability, energy efficiency and ease of installation and maintenance are all key factors to consider. A combination of energy efficient luminaires coupled with optimised control can facilitate huge energy savings.

Zoned hospital lighting

Hospital lighting is always running. This means the system must be designed effectively. Each area of a hospital has its own unique lighting needs. Here are a few examples.

Common areas

The lighting in these spaces should allow people to move around safely. This can be achieved with several different lighting fixtures. Light and well-being go hand in hand, and in the absence of sufficient natural light, artificial lighting has to step in.

Iluminación exterior hospital

Patient rooms

Lighting plays a crucial role in patient recovery and helps create a sense of comfort and safety despite the patient being in a strange setting. A pleasant environment has a positive impact on doctors, other medical staff and visitors. With the right choice of colour temperature, lighting direction and intensity for each situation, light becomes a key factor in people’s well-being.

Operating theatres

Given the huge variety of operations that take place in an operating theatre, dimmable lighting solutions are the most suitable choice since they can be adjusted to suit different needs. In general, an operating theatre has to be lit uniformly and powerfully. An average illuminance of 2000 lx is recommended to ensure sufficient visibility. However, certain minimally invasive procedures carried out with green lasers require low ambient lighting.

A surgeon’s eyes must constantly adapt to different light levels – this can cause fatigue and hamper their sharpness and concentration. A quality lighting solution, designed to prevent these problems, is absolutely essential.

The coloured light emitted by RGB LED luminaires can visually enhance a space, doors, hallways, etc. Moreover, systems with variable colour temperatures can simulate natural light at different times of day to help maintain our circadian rhythms. This, in turn, boosts concentration and improves well-being. What’s more, installing powerful and efficient LED luminaires in operating theatres can increase the performance and sustainability of electrical systems.

Examination rooms

These rooms have a variety of uses, from treating emergency cases to conducting medical examinations or prescribing treatments. The lighting here needs to be easily adjustable to provide direct light where needed.


Lighting quality matters in hospitals, nowhere more so than in an intensive care unit. Light affects how well medical staff can see and also impacts the patient who, though unconscious, still perceives light and uses it to regulate their biological clock.

SECOM success stories

The Braga Private Hospital is a lighting success story for SECOM. For this project, we used the Eslim Surface Panel, Aircom Circular and Aircom Square. Our surface, downlight and track systems are equipped with LED technology, facilitating optimal quality, superb adaptability and efficiency, and superior lighting output.

Hospital de Braga

SECOM’s adapted lighting systems

The SECOM range includes luminaires that meet the highest quality standards and are suitable for hospitals and care facilities. Here are a few examples.

  • Loop Supra. Recessable, superb performance and high output.
  • Aircom Range. Provides excellent performance and comes with a range of features, all thanks to research and innovation.
  • Eslim UGR<19. The glare control makes this luminaire suitable for work areas. The interior screen is equipped with LED technology.
  • Cubic. A recessable LED panel that provides uniform, comfortable lighting.

Hospital lighting has to support the well-being of the people in the building. When the colour, direction and intensity are right, lighting helps improve all quality indicators, including the performance of medical specialists, healthcare personnel and administrative staff, not to mention patient comfort.

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