Project Profile: LED lighting used to comfort patients in hospital’s wound care center

Lighting systems were updated at the Henry County Hospital in Indiana.


Project name: Henry County Hospital Advanced Wound Center

Project type: Existing building retrofit

Building type: Hospital/health care facility

Location: New Castle, IN

Timeline: 2011

Hyperbaric chambers in the Henry County Hospital Advanced Wound Center with Lithonia Lighting VT Series LED luminaires. Courtesy: Acuity Brands. Building details

Henry County Hospital in Indiana services patients from a four county region that is focused on providing advanced health care services for its community. The hospital was experiencing a growing need for expanded wound care services because of the diabetes epidemic as well as the aging population.

The lighting team gutted the existing lighting and installed the new products in the Wound Care Center and the hyperbaric chamber. The projects consisted of four exam rooms and two offices. The team installed 40 Lithonia Lighting fixtures between the exam rooms, the chamber and the offices.

Project details

The hospital had three priority objectives when specifying the ambient and hyperbaric chamber lighting in the new Advanced Wound Center. First they needed to find another light sources besides fluorescent for the hyperbaric chamber, due to health risks. Second, they needed lighting that was dimmable; it was absolutely necessary to install dimmable lighting in the hyperbaric chamber to keep patients comfortable when receiving therapy. Third, they wanted to reduce energy use, reduce maintenance and be more environmentally conscious. Products Used: Lithonia lighting VT Series LED luminaires Sensor Switch controls

Hospital Electrician Paul Wallace says that lighting was a key consideration when renovating the Advanced Wound Center. “We had three priority objectives when specifying the ambient and hyperbaric chamber lighting in the new Advanced Wound Center. First, we needed to find another light source besides fluorescent for the hyperbaric chamber. Second, we needed lighting that was dimmable; it was absolutely necessary to install dimmable lighting in the hyperbaric chamber to keep patients comfortable when receiving therapy. Third, we wanted to reduce energy use, reduce maintenance and be more environmentally conscious.”

The Advanced Wound Center Director, Stephanie Taylor, was also involved in selecting lighting systems. “There are health risks associated with fluorescent lighting in hyperbaric chambers,” said Taylor. “For some patients, fluorescent lighting can cause seizures, making it necessary for us to find an alternative.

“Also, patients spend about 2 hours per day in the hyperbaric chamber, sometimes receiving treatment for up to 60 days. With our patients spending so much time in the chamber, it was important to have dimmable lighting as a convenience for patients wanting to sleep or watch television,” said Taylor.

Because LEDs respond well to dimming and offer tremendous energy efficiencies, the Hospital began researching options for digital lighting. This was the second time the hospital seriously researched LED lighting on a broad scale.

“We researched LED lighting about three years ago,” said Wallace, “but we didn’t find any LED fixtures that met our needs, mostly because the color of the LEDs was harsh and we didn’t like the look of the fixtures. However, the technology and fixture aesthetics have advanced immensely over the past few years.”

Steve Vorhees from Kirby Risk Electrical Supply (Muncie, IN) and John Edwards from LightSOURCE (Indianapolis, IN) presented Henry County Hospital with an LED lighting solution that met all of its goals. “The VTLED by Lithonia Lighting, an Acuity Brands company, was the perfect option to present to the hospital,” said Edwards. “It delivers high quality volumetric lighting and full-range dimming (0-10V) as standard features. Additionally, it provides a plug and play dimming functionality that allows end users to easily connect fixtures together, reducing installation time and expenses.”

Wallace agreed with the recommendation from LightSOURCE. “We wanted an LED fixture that was both dimmable and looked similar to our current fixtures so there wasn’t a dramatic difference aesthetically. When we saw the VTLED by Lithonia Lighting we were sold. It features advanced control capabilities and looks very similar to our current Lithonia Lighting fixtures installed throughout the hospital.

“Another benefit for the Hospital is the reduced maintenance required because LED lighting and controls last longer and require less service. This allows our facility staff to focus on more important aspects of running the hospital,” said Wallace.

Henry County Hospital installed VTLED fixtures throughout the Advanced Wound Center, including exam rooms, dressing rooms, nurse station and the hyperbaric oxygen suite. Sensor Switch controls were installed in the hyperbaric chamber.

“Installation was simple because we used Cat 5 cabling and we didn’t have to run any other electrical wires,” said Wallace. “We simply connected each fixture with the Cat 5 cabling, and connected the Cat 5 cabling to the Sensor Switch controls.”

Project success

The staff appreciates how easy the lights are to dim. They have recommended the VT Series LED luminaires for future projects. The team is happy that they don not have to change lamps or ballasts; so the system is a much more cost efficient one. They were also able to have high-quality lighting fixtures that would not harm patients and fit within budget constraints. The lighting is softer and looks more polished and finished, according to the hospital staff.

“The LED lighting and controls have worked extremely well in our department because it gives us more control of the lighting intensity,” said Taylor. “The hyperbaric chamber suite has the lighting split into two sections – one for each chamber. The lighting system allows us to dim the lights on one side and leave them up on the other side according to the patient’s preference. This gives us a lot of control and flexibility. We love the lighting system and so do our patients.”   

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