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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in BMJ Open Quality, September 2019.

The published version is available at . Copyright © Albala et al.

Publication made possible in part by support from the Thomas Jefferson University + Philadelphia University Open Access Fund



Typical hospital lighting is rich in blue-wavelength emission, which can create unwanted circadian disruption in patients when exposed at night. Despite a growing body of evidence regarding the effects of poor sleep on health outcomes, physiologically neutral technologies have not been widely implemented in the US healthcare system.


The authors sought to determine if rechargeable, proximity-sensing, blue-depleted lighting pods that provide wireless task lighting can make overnight hospital care more efficient for providers and less disruptive to patients.


Non-randomised, controlled interventional trial in an intermediate-acuity unit at a large urban medical centre.


Night-time healthcare providers abstained from turning on overhead patient room lighting in favour of a physiologically neutral lighting device. 33 nurses caring for patients on that unit were surveyed after each shift. 21 patients were evaluated after two nights with standard-of-care light and after two nights with lighting intervention.


Providers reported a satisfaction score of 8 out of 10, with 82% responding that the lighting pods provided adequate lighting for overnight care tasks. Among patients, a median 2-point improvement on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was reported.

Conclusion and relevance

The authors noted improved caregiver satisfaction and decreased patient anxiety by using a blue-depleted automated task-lighting alternative to overhead room lights. Larger studies are needed to determine the impact of these lighting devices on sleep measures and patient health outcomes like delirium. With the shift to patient-centred financial incentives and emphasis on patient experience, this study points to the feasibility of a physiologically targeted solution for overnight task lighting in healthcare environments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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