Care Home Lighting
Having the correct lighting in your care home is incredibly important for the wellbeing of both staff and residents. As we age we require twice as much light to perform everyday activities as normal standards recommend, and 4 times as much light as we need when we are in our 20s. Investing time into considering your care home lighting requirements can have a myriad of benefits; improved wayfinding and independence, general mood and a reduction in anxiety levels, easier for carers and residents to perform tasks, reduction in trips and falls and also improving the feel and look of your interiors.
In this post we give you a guide to the key areas for consideration when lighting your care home and how you can improve the lives of your residents and carers through intuitive design.
Lighting care homes with natural light
Daylight is the most important source of lighting and that which you should maximise as much as possible. The health benefits of natural light are unrivalled; people who are exposed to natural light are prone to producing higher levels of vitamin D and serotonin, it helps to regulate a natural sleeping pattern by being exposed to the changing daylight throughout the day, and is also proven to reduce cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Even better, it’s also free!
In order to maximise the impact of daylight in your home follow these simple guidelines:
- All window dressings should be secured as far back from the window reveal as possible when not in use to make sure as much daylight can filter through the glass as possible.
- Move any larger items of furniture away from windows to make sure they aren’t blocking the light. The same applies for any garden furniture outside that may be in front of windows.
- Regular cleaning of windows – the cleaner they are the more daylight will pass through!
- Where appropriate, applying a lighter toned colour palette to both your walls and upholstered furniture will reflect more natural light and make the room feel brighter and airier. Be careful to make sure surfaces aren’t highly reflective as this is unsuitable for dementia friendly interiors.
Lighting positioning and types of artificial lighting
As we already know that people in the older years of their lives require 4 times as much lighting as someone in their 20s, it is recommended that someone that is of a similar age to your residents is involved in any lighting decisions to ensure that all viewpoints are considered. There are a variety of lighting options to consider and some of this decision will also depend on the interior style you are wanting to emulate and also budget, but it’s important to remember throughout that this is your residents home. Being able to provide a space that is as similar to home as possible will mean that your residents feel comforted by a familiar environment.
Some basic principles to go by are:
- Ceiling lights whilst appropriate for areas that are heavily task focused, such as a dining room, would be less appropriate for a bedroom or a lounge where they may create heavy glare and can cause discomfort when reclining or lying in bed. If you do have ceiling lights then it is good practice to ensure that these have some kind of diffuser to make the lighting less harsh, and try to adopt a more homely, familiar feel through the use of pendants. Consideration should also be paid to the type of bulb used and there are many energy saving bulbs available on the market now which are ideal for care settings.
- Wall lights are useful for creating varied levels of lighting within a space and can also be used to provide a softer background light in the evenings when it is preferable to try and mimic the normal levels of daylight to promote a natural sleep cycle. Wall lights are also available in lots of different decorative styles, shapes and budgets to suit the interiors for your care home.
- Task lighting such as lamps are an easy, budget friendly, addition to any space and are valuable for promoting independence and flexibility. A bedside lamp that has an easy to use switch for residents to operate themselves allows residents to be self-reliant, whilst providing extra plug sockets and lamps within communal spaces ensures that you can rearrange the lighting depending on where it is needed.
- In general, a uniform level of light and style of lighting is preferable throughout the home where possible
Lastly, it’s important to consider your lighting as part of the interiors as a whole; colours, patterns and fabrics can look very different in daylight compared to a soft glow from a wall sconce. When assembling a care home interior scheme our interior designer will also consider the lighting requirements of the space and make recommendations. If you’d like to discuss your next project with our interiors team please get in contact on 01603 664 900 or email email@example.com.
Find out more about care home interiors and design here.