Student Work

  • Lighting Design (MFA)

    Chengyi Qin

    The Effect of Light on Perception of Time in Healthcare Environments

    Traditional lighting practices in healthcare facilities give priority to staff requirements. Most often, these practices neglect the emotional and psychological effects light can have on the patient's experience. Researchers have learned that negative emotions contribute to an overestimation of waiting time, leading to dissatisfied and frustrated patients. To study the effectiveness of light on perception of time, this thesis focuses on the common preoperative area. This is an anxiety-ridden area for patients, as it is where they wait to undergo surgery. An overhead downlight is the most common approach to deliver a high light level onto the patient's bed. An experiment was conducted to explore alternative lighting solutions. Subjects were exposed to six test scenarios, varying either in light intensity or light distribution. Results showed that peripheral indirect dim light reduced the overestimation of time the most, and the shorter the perceived time, the greater the improvement in the subject's mood and perception of friendliness in the space. The findings suggest that a different lighting design approach in preoperative holding areas should be considered. The findings can also be applied to other spaces including patient rooms, MRI rooms, examination rooms, and dental offices.