The Birmingham Children’s Hospital provides general and emergency health care services to nearly 250,000 children a year across the West Midlands and beyond, it is regarded as one of the best children’s hospitals in Europe. The children’s hospital has become a nationally designated centre of excellence for around 34 specialist treatments and is also one of the UK’s leading paediatric teaching and clinical research centres.
The hospital is fully committed to delivering the highest quality of care and support to children and young people and improving the hospital experience wherever possible. It is widely acknowledged that the use of colour in interior design can have a profound impact on people’s moods, promoting a sense of well-being, which can aid recovery rates. To this end, Steon Lighting were approached by Marcel Kijack at Couch Perry Wilkes to supply the hospital with a series of colour changing luminaires.
Fourteen suspended decorative Ciambella luminaires, featuring a dual lighting system with a white direct light in the middle surrounded by a coloured soft diffused LED light, were used in the wards to supplement the existing task lighting above the beds. The white light was provided by a 2 x 26W compact fluorescent downlighter featuring DALI dimmable gear, which was compatible with the hospital’s existing main dimming system and the coloured light was provided by an RGB system with specialist DMX gear for scene setting, colour cycle flexibility and full controllability. Different colours could be set for different times of the day to deliver clear cues, for example, a soft calm blue at night to promote sleep. As well as improving the aesthetics of the children’s hospital, coloured lighting was used to improve the functionality and make a focal point of the hand wash stations. RGB LED strips and tapes that morph through a brightly coloured sequence were concealed within the basins to encourage hand washing and good hygiene practice and reduce the risk of infection within the hospital.
The luminaires significantly enhanced the visual environment providing a comfortable ambience for all, whilst also meeting lux level requirements. The coloured luminaires really draw you into the space and help highlight certain areas such as the nursing stations and assist with navigation. Behavioural patterns are also being monitored over a 12 month period to determine whether a coloured lit basin leads to increased hand washing.