Midwest Lighting Institute: New study shows innovative LED lighting system cuts risk of seniors falling in long-term care facilities by 43 percent – WisPolitics.com
Published in JAMDA, research is the first-ever study to evaluate a tunable solid-state (LED) lighting system as an intervention to reduce falls
COTTAGE GROVE, Wis., Aug. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A first-of-its-kind, two-year study conducted by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Midwest Lighting Institute (MLI), showed a significant 43 percent reduction in the rate of falls in residents at long-term care facilities that utilized a tunable LED lighting system compared to control facilities that maintained standard lighting. The lighting was operated on a schedule developed by Midwest Light Institute that implements specific spectrum and intensity levels timed to regularize sleep-wake cycles and boost the daytime alerting effects of light. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA).
“Falls among care home residents have major health and economic implications, and this study is the first of its kind to translate the known beneficial effects of tunable lighting on neurocognitive responses into a real-world setting and examine if changes in lighting spectrum and intensity throughout the day can reduce the risk of falls in the elderly,” said Shadab Rahman, Ph.D. MPH, Investigator in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We found that upgrading ambient lighting is a safe, effective, low-cost, low-burden preventative strategy to reduce fall risk in long-term care settings, one that has tremendous potential to save lives and improve patients’ health and well-being.”
New Study Shows Innovative LED Lighting System Cuts Risk of Seniors Falling in Long-term Care Facilities by 43 Percent
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in U.S. adults aged 65 and olderi , and the economic impact of falls is immense, with fatal falls estimated to cost $754 million, and non-fatal falls $50 billion annuallyii. Research has shown that blue-enriched, higher intensity light exposure during the day can improve alertness, cognition, and subsequent nighttime sleep, while blue-depleted lower intensity light exposure at night can help facilitate sleep. Implementing new lighting systems to determine if these improvements could impact patient outcomes had not previously been evaluated in a head-to-head study.
“Fall prevention is a major public health priority given our aging population, and we know that the right lighting at the right time of day can improve alertness, cognition, and sleep, leading to fewer falls,” said Rodney Heller, President of MLI and partner at Energy Performance Lighting. “We believe that utilizing modern lighting technology to regularize circadian rhythm could have an enormous impact on a range of health-related outcomes, and we plan to continue our research across other healthcare settings and into specific therapeutic areas.”
Study Design and Results
The study, initiated by MLI and supported by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, was designed to assess the impact of a tunable lighting schedule on the rate of falls in long-term care home residents. The observational study examined two pairs of care homes (four sites total) with 758 residents. One site from each pair was selected for a solid-state tunable lighting system upgrade throughout the facility, while the other site served as a control. Energy Performance Lighting completed the installation at …….