Have you considered the effect that lighting can have on the atmosphere in your practice? A simple and cost-effective feature that’s often overlooked in dental interior design, dental office lighting can help you set the scene to create a positive and welcoming environment, making a significant difference to how your practice is perceived. Let’s take a look at some techniques that you can use to perfect the lighting in your dental practice.
First and foremost, lighting exists for practical reasons: to help us see what we’re doing. In a dental practice, lighting is particularly important due to the nature of the job. But all too often, catering to practicalities alone results in harsh, fluorescent lighting that can create a cold and clinical environment throughout the practice, which may not show off your dental practice interior in its best light.
Aim to fulfil your practical lighting needs within your consulting room, without overdoing the lighting in other areas of the practice; patients and staff alike respond better to their environments when the lighting isn’t a uniform brightness throughout the building. Where bright lighting is needed, consider LED lighting over old-style fluorescent fittings; they’re more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run. In bathroom areas, consider motion sensors that only activate the lights when the room is occupied.
Lighting doesn’t have to be purely functional; indeed, by experimenting with different lighting effects, you can dramatically change the mood within your surgery. By diffusing the light using shades and uplighters, you can create highlights and shadows in different parts of the room, which makes for a more aesthetically pleasing environment. Spotlights can be used to focus the attention on particular parts of the room, such as the reception desk.
Create a relaxing waiting area with wall lights, table and floor lamps, which will all contribute to a cosy, home-from-home atmosphere. Wall lights are also useful for highlighting artwork on the walls. Choose brighter lighting accompanied by good signage in corridors.
Whatever types of electric lighting you are using in your dental practice, there’s no substitute for natural light. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light affects our productivity and mental wellbeing at work. For patients, natural light can help create a relaxing atmosphere which can play a part in reducing anxiety.
In part, your access to natural light will depend on the layout and orientation of your building, but you can also arrange your dental practice layout to maximise natural light wherever possible. Glass doors and skylights can increase the amount of daylight that permeates the building, while removing curtains and blinds from windows, and rearranging furniture so that it does not obstruct light sources can be very effective. Natural light bulbs may be worth considering in a completely windowless environment.
Apollo Interiors is a fit-out and interior design company specialising in dental refurbishment. Contact us for assistance with your dental fit-out project.