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New Study Shows Need for LED Lighting in Senior Centers

New Study Shows Need for LED Lighting in Senior Centers

A study by the Brown University School of Public Health finds people who live in senior care facilities sleep better if the building is equipped with LED lighting.

Rosa Baier, an associate professor who directs the Center for Long-Term Care Quality and Innovation at Brown University, led a team of seven researchers who studied the use of tuned LED lighting at a nursing home facility in Sacramento, California. The study found that residents exposed to LED lighting suffered fewer sleep disturbances overnight than those who were living under static lighting.

Lack of sleep, or numerous sleep disruptions, can be extremely difficult for older people, especially if they suffer from dementia. While nursing home residents tend to fall asleep throughout the day, their nighttime sleep can be interrupted, and as a result, they are awake in the middle of the night. Baier’s team wanted to find a different way to eliminate those disruptions without the used of sleeping pills. Too little sleep at night can cause depression and an increased chance of accidents or injuries.

The facility in California installed LED lighting that would change color and intensity throughout the day. The tuned lighting was used in corridors during the day, and dimmed at night. The four month study monitored 63 residents with an average age of 88.3 years old. 71% of the people in the study were women. While nursing homes are turning to LED lighting as a cost savings measure, the study suggests LED lighting will also improve the health of residents. Residents exposed to fluorescent lighting woke up on an average of 3.6 times overnight, while those exposed to the LED lighting had 1.8 sleep disturbances a night.

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Discussion (2 comments)

    Naomi Miller October 7, 2020 / 1:32 pm

    The improvement in sleep was likely due to the ability to dim to low levels the corridor lighting that infiltrates resident rooms as night, and to tune the nighttime light to a very warm spectrum. The complete DOE report can be found here: https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1607668-measuring-light-exposure-its-effects-sleep-behavior-care-center-residents

    MATT RIEGER October 8, 2020 / 8:11 am

    I think this headline is misleading. Given the content of the story I think it should read “Tuned LED lighting” as the article isn’t making the case for LED lighting in general but Tuned lighting in specific.

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