While it mightn’t necessarily be at the top of your design wish list, lighting is a key element when fitting out or refurbishing your dental practice. And it’s not just one style of lighting that you need to consider. While task lighting is essential for precision and accuracy, it’s important not to forget about using ambient lighting to create a calming atmosphere for your patients.
We take an in-depth look at the lighting options for the three main zones within a dental practice.
The reception area is where your practice makes its first impression. When entering your clinic, patients should immediately feel at ease and comfortable. Ambient lighting can play a significant role in this.
Where possible, look to incorporate natural lighting (it’s free!) in your reception and waiting area. Having skylights, large windows and a view of greenery outside are all great ways to bring nature into the practice and provide a soothing environment for patients.
If direct sunlight is not on tap, clever design can achieve the same effect. Hidden lights that emit soft, diffused light can help to mimic the “look” of natural light.
Other options are illuminated virtual skylights or windows. The Elite Fitout team added a skylight with virtual blue sky and clouds to a Melbourne dental clinic located in an inner-city building that had no natural light. The result is a bright and welcoming space.
The lighting in your dental surgery room needs to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Appropriate task lighting is essential to ensure precision and accuracy when attending to patients. For an ideal working environment, your task lighting needs to have the right balance of intensity, colour and field size. Many dental surgeries have lighting integrated into the dental chair for a seamless look. As an alternate option you can opt for ceiling-mounted task lighting.
To provide ambient lighting in your surgery, consider ceiling lights filtered by translucent covers to avoid filling the room with harsh shadows. This puts a soft edge to even the brightest light. LEDs are a popular option, providing bright light without the heat or higher costs associated with halogen bulbs.
Steri rooms need to be well-lit to give good visibility for staff performing sterilisation tasks.
To maintain a sterile environment, lighting controls can be linked to a motion sensor that are activated when staff enter. This means switches don’t have to be touched if staff are already wearing sterile gloves.
To minimise shadows from wall cabinets, LED strip lighting can feature on the underside of the cabinets. This LED lighting can be coloured to help to designate a clear workflow from “dirty to clean”. The image below shows the separate areas : red – dirty, blue – to be processed and green – clean. Using lighting in this way can act as a visual prompt to simplify your infection control processes and prevent cross-contamination.
Elite’s team of fitout specialists, designers and projects managers have many years of experience in designing and fitting out dental clinics. Contact us today to discuss your dental practice fitout or refurbishment.