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Clin Perinatol. 2004 Jun;31(2):323-30, viii.

Lighting design in the neonatal intensive care unit: practical applications of scientific principles.

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Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Notre Dame, IN 46656, USA.


Meeting the varied lighting needs of infants, caregivers, and families has become more complex as our understanding of visual development and perception and the effect of light on circadian rhythms advances. Optimal lighting strategies are discussed for new unit construction, as well as modifications to consider for existing units. In either case, the key concept is that lighting should be provided for the individual needs of each person, rather than the full-room lighting schemes previously used. Ideas gleaned from nonhospital settings, re-introduction of natural light into the neonatal intensive care unit, and new devices such as light-emitting diodes will dramatically change the lighting and visual environment of future neonatal intensive care units.

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