Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Lighting Recommendations

A safe, family-centered Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) must be considered the newborn infant’s “first home.” It should have a comfortable atmosphere, supporting the physical and emotional needs of the young patients and their families. The intentional design of this interior environment should transform a highly technological and clinical environment into a positive and supportive healing space.

Achieving adequate lighting in neonatal intensive care units is a major challenge. In addition to the usual considerations of visual performance, cost, energy and aesthetics, there are different biological needs of patients, healthcare providers and family members. In this study we address:

  • The communicational aspects of light
  • The role of light as a facilitator of the visual functioning of care providers
  • The impacts of light on the newborn infant physiology and development
  • The role of light in regulating the newborn infant circadian cycle
  • The therapeutic use of light in general

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For over 25 years, Tim Knapp has focused on healthcare architecture with the goal of creating healing environments that shape better experiences for patients and caregivers. In the office, Tim is a mentor and a coach, inspiring our young professionals and empowering our next generation of leaders. Outside the office, Tim is an avid mountain biker and enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with his family.

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