Planned renovations in the Presbyterian/St. Lukes Medical Center’s Neonatal Unit presented a great opportunity to incorporate full-spectrum, healthy, natural daylight into this sensitive healthcare space that previously had to rely solely upon electric lighting. The problem was that the Neonatal Unit was four floors below the roof, making traditional skylights or even sun tubes impossible. The remodeling was primarily cosmetic and all the basic floor, wall and ceiling structures remained intact, so any daylighting solution could not require extensive construction. Plus the Neonatal Unit is a critical care environment, so the heat gain factor normally associated with traditional fenestration would not be desirable.
The Parans Solar Lighting System was the perfect and only viable solution.
Two Parans receivers were placed on the roof to harvest natural sunlight by continuously tracking the sun all day and transmitting the full-spectrum natural daylight through fiber optic cables to four Parans Solar Luminaires. “Using no electricity, they created beautiful, healthy natural sunlight!” said Presbyterian St. Luke hospital administrator, Darla Van Essen. “I’m very happy with the results.”
A 2006 study titled The Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings by The Center for Health Design concluded that adequate and appropriate exposure to natural light is critical for health and well-being of patients as well as staff in health care settings. Natural light improves the mood of patients, decreases absenteeism and staff errors, reduces the amount of pain medications patients need, and brings about a variety of other positive effects. Natural light in rooms is proven to stimulate brain development of babies.
“It works exactly as advertised, delivering full-spectrum natural light where it’s needed most,” said Vic Vigil, Presbyterian St. Luke maintenance manager,“and with no heat gain or costly construction.”