How LED Lighting Is Being Used to Comfort Patients in Intensive Care

If you've ever stepped foot in an intensive care unit, you'll know that they can be pretty grim environments. That's all changing, though, thanks to LED lighting systems that can actually be used to improve patient care.

Philips is no stranger to LED lighting, and it's already developed it for use in hospitals. Now, though, it's developed the lighting which is being used in the Charité Clinic in Berlin to create a luminous ceiling, to simulate daylight and even play media on a large, sky-like area for critically ill patients.

The idea is that through gentles stimulation, individuals in intensive care can have their stress levels reduced. Clinicians dial in some patient parameters, and the LED-lit ceiling creates visuals and light moods customized to the individual. The lighting system uses 15,400 LEDs, spanning the entire ceiling and wall in front of the patients, filling their entire field of view.

The hospital already has two rooms with the systems, and has been testing them on patients who are severely ill. Doctors are finding that the lighting helps simulates the natural, dynamic rhythm of daylight, and can stop critically ill patients slipping into shock when they undergo physical stress. Not bad for a light show.