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    Light Your World Blog

    Alkco Builds on a History of Lighting Innovation in Healthcare

    January 23, 2024
    Light has played an essential role in hospitals and healthcare environments for decades. Today, we have innovative technological capabilities that draw on this accumulated history to promote patient wellbeing and support staff and operational performance.

    Healthcare Lighting History at a Glance


    1920s and earlier


    Operating rooms and patient rooms once relied on windows and natural sunlight for visibility, especially when electric lighting was insufficient. Buildings had to be constructed so windows would face optimal lighting. And even when optimal lighting was achieved, glare could keep patients awake and blind surgeons during operations.

    1940s and 50s


    Exposure to natural sunlight and fresh air continued to be a key component of the healing process in hospitals. When a design for a hospital wing without windows was published, it was considered radical.

    However, this therapeutic approach of prioritizing natural lighting had limitations – and hospital systems began to recognize them as they focused on improving medical procedures and workflow efficiency.

    1960s and 70s


    In the 1960s and 1970s, electric lighting became part of the environmental controls that doctors used to promote healthy spaces for patients, along with air conditioning and central heating.

    Fast Forward to The Present


    Only a decade ago, LED lighting was shaking up the healthcare lighting industry for offering energy savings, improved quality of light and reduced maintenance costs as compared to traditional technologies, among many other benefits. It has increasingly been recognized as an important aspect of the patient and wellbeing experience, not just as a way of supporting hospital operations.

    Surgicare lighting in operating room

    How Alkco Draws from Past to Deliver Today and in the Future


    Signify’s Genlyte Solutions brand, Alkco, provides lighting solutions that are designed to support the needs of modern healthcare facilities, from the patient experience to staff’s ability to provide care, while enabling operational efficiency.

    For example, Alkco’s SurgiCare LED operating room troffer promotes surgeon visibility with narrow-spectrum green lighting. It is designed to support visual comfort and reduce glare on monitors – addressing the same difficulties surgeons once faced in operating facilities dependent on sunlight and windows.
    Further reflecting changing design trends in healthcare facilities, Alkco’s EvoSeal sealed centerbasket offers diffused lighting with high lumen output, supporting comfort for staff and patients in exam and procedure rooms, labs, cleanrooms and cafeterias.
    In addition, EvoSeal center basket lighting fixture is available with Signify’s BioUp technology, which allows for minute adjustments to certain wavelengths in the LED light spectrum to support biological processes without changing the visual color or intensity of the light. Even if they didn’t fully understand why, healthcare providers were on the right track that exposure to daylight can impact facility occupant wellbeing.
    Evoseal lighting

    Alkco is connected-ready, so when integrated as part of a connected lighting or lighting controls system like Interact or Philips Dynalite, it can help hospitals achieve workflow efficiency – reflecting the goals of early 20th century healthcare environments.


    Facility managers can optimize space usage, identify which patient rooms have been occupied and require cleaning, and reduce lighting-related energy consumption and regulate heating and cooling (when integrated with an HVAC system) based on occupancy levels.


    Not Your Grandfather’s Alkco!


    The needs of modern hospitals and healthcare environments echo those of the past.


    Signify has taken what we’ve learned since Alkco first launched in 1946 and introduced modern lighting innovations to meet the healthcare and application needs of today and tomorrow.

    Learn more about our Alkco indoor healthcare lighting solutions on our website.


    Lindsey Mulrooney
    Lindsey Mulrooney

    Post tags

    Alkco, healthcare lighting, healthcare troffer, surgical troffer, surgical lighting, patient lighting, human-centric lighting, hospital lighting

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