Fluorescent lamps are becoming the most popular choice for many healthcare installations. Fluorescents are designed to meet a building's luminary needs while significantly lowering operating costs. When compared to incandescent, fluorescent lasts up to 20 times longer and is up to six times more efficient. Upgrading from incandescent to compact fluorescent can save up to 75 percent in energy costs without sacrificing quality or color rendering.
Compact fluorescent lamping can be used for table, floor and reading lights in guest rooms and in recessed and vanity lighting for patient bathrooms. However, in general, the trend in patient rooms is toward using lighting to enhance rather than replace natural light, allowing the patient to reap the physical and psychological benefits of natural light while still providing the necessary levels of illumination.
Compact fluorescent lamping is also often seen in lobbies, reception areas, waiting rooms, and corridors and hallways, in configurations such as wall sconces and recessed downlights. Specifiers should note that many facilities now mandate that wall sconces in corridors and other locations be compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other ideas for compact fluorescent include indirect floor-mounted recessed lighting fixtures to add warmth and ambience to the healthcare setting.
Because it can be used in traditional light-bulb sockets, compact fluorescent bulbs are the preferred choice for retrofits of existing incandescent fixtures. Fixtures utilizing dedicated fluorescent sockets, ballasts and lamps, however, often provide greater efficiency and longevity than their screw-in CF counterparts.
Additional types of fluorescent lighting fixtures include:
* T8 - This generation of fluorescent lamps provides long life and high performance, which translates into reduced maintenance and disposal costs. T8's are often installed as replacements for older T12 fixtures.
They can be used anywhere typical T12 lamps would be used, from hospital parking garages, to the interiors of physicians' offices and medical buildings; and public restrooms.
* T5 - The latest models to hit the market offer more power, increased light output, and efficacy up to 90 lumens per watt, in addition to longer life and high lumen maintenance. New multi-lamp fixture designs offer a viable alternative to HID for both hi-bay (i.e. high ceiling) and low-bay (normal ceiling height) applications. T5 is not necessarily the top choice for retrofitting but is increasingly being specified for new-build healthcare construction projects.
The smaller size of the T5 fixtures lends itself to physicians' offices, waiting rooms and bathroom areas.
Halogen offers a longer-life, more energy-efficient alternative to standard incandescent lamps. These factors, combined with the crisp, clean color of halogen, have made it a popular choice for display, task and general lighting. Low-voltage halogen fixtures can provide both decorative and accent lighting in lobbies, cafeterias and reception areas of healthcare buildings.
High Intensity Discharge
High Intensity Discharge lamps offer the highest efficiency with more lumens per watt and the longest life cycle.
* Metal Halide - These lamps offer an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent and halogen, while providing white light with better color rendering than other HID lamps.
Use for spot lighting or flood lighting or for accent or display lighting in lobbies and reception areas, as well as bright lights for passageways and corridors. Metal Halide is also ideal for outdoor lighting applications including exterior façades, parking lots, walkways and pathways.
* High Pressure Sodium - This golden-amber light ranks among the most efficient light sources available, with some of the most lumens per watt.
It is ideal for use as an outdoor application where high efficiency is a priority, and white light is less important, such as for sufficient illumination of parking lots and garages.
* Low Pressure Sodium - This highly efficient HID lamp is not typically considered to be a practical light source for most healthcare applications due to poor color rendering.