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Research has shown that LED lighting has positive effects on health including reducing headaches, nausea, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, mood disorders, stress, vision loss and eye disorders. In addition to the energy savings, the health benefits make LEDs the ideal choice for healthcare and senior living facilities.
The Piper is a unique luxury assisted living facility located in Kansas City, U.S., that utilizes an innovative design philosophy which provides a “home within a home”. The design team transforms assisted living into warm, nurturing homes that foster independence. The lighting design helps create this atmosphere and contributes to residents' health and well-being. LED lighting was an essential part of the new construction plans. BioStar provided over 3000 lights for the 100,000 square foot, 120 unit building complex and for the 5 acres of landscaping and parking.
LED lighting has been proven to increase well-being and to be beneficial in healthcare environments. The light output is the closest spectral match to sunlight of any type of light, providing the safest, healthiest and easiest light to see. It has been shown to decrease headaches, dizziness and nausea that can be caused by the gaps and spikes in color of fluorescents and incandescent, as well by the common flickering and hum of fluorescents.
The positive effect of LED lighting on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) have been demonstrated by research. It is possible to control the color temperature and brightness of LED lights so the ideal light can be used in each room. A slight difference in color can affect how well we sleep and how alert we feel when we are awake. The blue spectrum suppresses melatonin which improves sleep quality. LEDs contribute to a healthy sleep/wake cycle which is crucial to mental cognition and physical well-being. In a recent study, a 24-hour controlled LED lighting scheme increased night time sleep in ADRD patients by 24% and reduced behaviors like nocturnal wandering, agitation, and abusive outbursts. They are also used to treat depressive disorders because the similarity to natural sunlight improves mood and decreases stress.
Vision loss and eye disorders can also be prevented with LED lighting. They only produce light in the visible range with no damaging UV or infrared radiation. UV light contributes to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. Superior control of light levels provided by LEDs also prevents straining the eyes which is especially important to seniors whose eyes let less light in and take longer to adjust to changes in light levels.
The efficiency of LED lighting also drastically reduces lighting costs, allowing capital to be used in other ways that help provide high-quality care for residents. LED lighting uses an average of 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent. They are about 4 times more energy efficient and last 5 times longer than fluorescents. The decreased costs help The Piper to be able to provide personalized care, good food and luxury furnishings.
The health benefits, welcoming atmosphere and decreased costs make LED lighting ideal for senior care and healthcare in general. They are an essential aspect of The Piper's breakthrough concept in senior living.