Light and Psychiatric Healthcare

  • Stidsen, Lone Mandrup, (Projektdeltager)
  • Kirkegaard, Poul Henning, (Projektdeltager)


Light affects people in many ways, and light can be used to create a certain atmosphere in a particular situation. The postdoc project ‘Light and Psychiatric Healthcare’ is based on knowledge gained through the Ph.D. project ‘Light atmosphere in hospitals wards’. So, the postdoc project is based on a practical design research tradition, working on a cross-disciplinary research approach where several research traditions are used to bring diverse research knowledge together in a holistic ‘Real world’ approach.

At present, the future of hospital design is a subject of great interest and, therefore, a subject of discussion. Billions of Danish kroner are invested in hospitals with a focus on healing environments for patients and staff. In the context of psychiatric healthcare, light is seen as essential for the patients’ healing process. The effect of light can be evaluated in many ways. It has been proven that light has an effect on the circadian rhythm, sleeping quality, seasonal affective disorder and, in a hospital ward setting, the quality of daylight has an impact on the patients’ hospital stay. Right now the trend is to adapt the important knowledge from daylight research into artificial light installations, and the lighting design business provides intelligent light systems that support the wellbeing of patients and staff with artificial illumination based on a daylight rhythm. Terms like “intelligent lighting”, “daylight illumination”, “dynamic light”, or “colour effect of lighting” are, therefore, of interest as they are a result of new technologies and, as such, have yet to be well defined. Intelligent light is a topic for discussion, and there is a need to sort out terms, explore supportive intelligent lighting solutions and, of course, test concepts and technologies in real world settings since the technologies are new and of innovational character.

The goal of the postdoc project ‘Light and Psychiatric Healthcare’ is to discuss, explore and define the relevance of using artificial light as a part of the treatment options on psychiatric hospitals. The focus will be on psychiatric patients’ needs and preferences for light in a hospital ward, and will be to find the potential of using intelligent artificial illumination that provides daylight rhythm. Finally, the goal is to define how using an intelligent lighting installation can be optimized with a well-designed lighting control.

The real world studies are carried out at psychiatric hospitals in Middelfart and Esbjerg (Denmark) in corporation with the local clinical research teams.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/05/201330/04/2015


  • Light
  • Psychiatric Healthcare
  • Healing Environments