LED-powered windowlights bring the experience of daylight into a windowless hospital observation unit.
One of Philadelphia's busiest hospitals was running out of patient rooms, and needed to quickly create more space to accommodate the growing patient population. Unfortunately, space is not easy to come by in an urban hospital setting, especially in one of the most densely populated cities in the country. An administrative office in the core of the building was selected to be converted into sixteen new patient observation rooms. However, due to its location in the building, this office space had no windows, and no daylight. The hospital holds itself to the highest standards of care and seeks to provide the absolute best patient experience. The facility design team knew that they would not be able to achieve the quality patient experience that they are known for without bringing the feeling of daylight into each patient's room. The hospital hired a large architecture and engineering firm to address this issue.
In addition to the challenge of bringing daylight into the core of the building, the design team wanted to incorporate the benefits of circadian lighting into the entire observation unit. This meant that the LED lighting in every room would need to provide sufficient light into the eye on the vertical plane (vertical illuminance), as well as shift color temperature to mimic the dynamic colors of a sunrise and sunset. There were many tunable white LED products to choose from, but only one that met all of the hospital's criteria.
LIGHTGLASS windowlights were selected to provide both the experience of daylight, and a circadian stimulus for the patients in each observation room. Each room was given two 1'x4' LIGHTGLASS pieces applied as clerestory windows. Since LIGHTGLASS is constructed with the form and materials of a window, and utilizes the latest LED technology to simulate daylight, it is nearly indiscernible from a real window. At less than four inches deep, LIGHTGLASS was able to be integrated into standard four inch wall partitions between adjacent patient rooms, meaning every patient could have an equivalent healing space regardless of their proximity to the exterior of the building. By applying LIGHTGLASS as a clerestory, each patient is provided with sufficient vertical illuminance to create a circadian stimulus. The color temperature of the windowlight changes based on a daily schedule to recreate the dynamic nature of sunlight, while also providing biophilia and a connection to nature for each patient. These elements will contribute to the healing of the patient and the performance of the hospital staff working and living in these windowless spaces.