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Heanor Park Care Home

Circadian Lighting Benefits

BRIEF

Ashmere Care Homes made a commitment to use new technology to improve the operation and facilities with circadian patient room lighting throughout their new build home for residents and staff at Heanor Park. Owner David Poxton was looking to design and create the optimum environment for older adult residents and those living with dementia, and part of the plan was to provide wellbeing support for natural circadian rhythms.

SOLUTION

A solution for spectrum-control lighting was designed to fit the brief and installed. This provides automated control of the colour spectrum of visible daylight through multiple colour channels in each light. The precise delivery of the right colour mix, or spectrum of light, at the right time of day for human circadian cycles, is assured.

Over 400 colour-spectrum lights have been installed at Heanor Park in every bedroom and ensuite bathroom, all corridors, common areas and lounge to ensure that the residents benefit from the circadian lighting to the maximum extent. A smart control system manages every light and each colour setting, according to parameters determined by a calibrated circadian control algorithm, for 24 hours every day. 

The algorithm is designed to run continuously and is suitable for elderly residents with little or no ability to get outdoors and who have minimal exposure to natural daylight. Starting in the morning with the highest light levels and a target of around 750 lux or greater, depending on individual designs, the strongest circadian stimulus is delivered within each room 7 am and 10 am by precise spectral control and broadly equivalent to a CCT range of 6000k to 8000k. The spectrum, or colour mix, is then blended to taper the blue content component towards the afternoon and then faded out whilst maintaining as close as possible to warm white light. 

After around 4 pm, the algorithm shifts towards an evening colour blend setting that is more equivalent to CCT of 3000k. Later in the evening, it will move into the night-time setting at the warm end of the spectrum with reduced intensity levels, designed to allow for people to move around but without potential disruption to their circadian rhythms. 

Individual rooms can be adjusted to accommodate specific requirements for intensity levels or other needs. The system responds to staff intervention needs by immediately switching to full brightness when activated via a nurse-call system or switch.

A range of lighting fixture designs and types were developed by amBX partner Swann Lighting to combine blending with the design aesthetic for the home as well as effective delivery of the spectrum-controlled light.

An override setting with switches in each room allows staff to exit the circadian settings temporarily if needed.

RESULT

A significant reduction in the number of falls was a noticeable early impact. Heanor Park only had 2 falls within the first 3 months of opening. In addition, as the lighting helps to entrain residents’ circadian rhythms, Heanor Park employees have noted residents are showing a greater level of engagement; they appear to feel more active and alert at the right times of the day and then as the lighting changes to mimic natural daylight throughout the day, by night-time residents feel ready for bed and are getting a better nights’ sleep. 

For those residents living with dementia, an alleviation of sundowning was also observed.

As a result of this, employees are able to encourage more of a routine for residents to make night shifts in particular much easier as residents are sleeping and their body clocks are synced correctly. For staff working in these conditions, they have commented how surprisingly they don’t feel tired, are still able to carry out tasks, and feel alert as the circadian lighting is not installed in the staff room and office. For employees working dayshift, the circadian lighting is also entraining their circadian rhythm, meaning they also get a better night’s sleep. 

TESTIMONIALS

‘We’re seeing a greater level of engagement from the residents during the day because the lighting is helping their body clock become alert and ready for the day…we’re not seeing people falling asleep in their chair or not wanting to engage in activities’ – David Poxton, Managing Director.

‘We’re incredibly proud of how this project has turned out and the end result that we’re seeing within Heanor Park care home. Really for us seeing what can be achieved, it is absolutely something that we would put in the refurbishment of our existing care homes and also any new projects that we have going forward’ – David Poxton, Managing Director.