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Bacteria-Killing Light

Bacteria have evolved. Some are even immune to the chemicals that are commonly used for cleaning and disinfecting. They are evolving, spreading, and becoming stronger and more dangerous – but what if there was a way to clean and disinfect without the harmful chemicals? There is – and we have been using it for millions of years – light.

How It Works

A study conducted by the University of Strathclyde in Scotland has shown a narrow spectrum of visible, indigo-colored light killed MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), C. difficile and VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus), which are some of the most common harmful bacteria linked to hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Molecules within the bacteria absorb the High-Intensity Narrow Spectrum light which produces a chemical reaction killing the bacteria from the inside-out, and because it is visible light, it is safe for use in the presence of patients and staff, but lethal to pathogens.

Lowering Infections and Saving Money

Using light as a disinfectant tool can assist in reducing the number of HAIs. In the United States, it is estimated that HAIs contribute to at least 1.7 million illnesses, 99,000 deaths in acute care hospitals, and add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of treating a single patient, resulting in $35-45 billion in excess healthcare costs each year.

While the current disinfecting methods in a healthcare environment are effective, they are also sporadic, causing results to be short-lived, as the bacteria re-populate the space rapidly. The ability to continuously treat hard and soft surfaces, as well as the air, will provide a substantial boost to disinfecting efforts.

At Energy Performance Lighting, we’re excited to see how LED lighting and controls can give healthcare providers an effective tool to ensure the safest and best environments for their patients.



The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things, is it the next revolution of the century? From the amount of people already connected and using it, without knowing it, the IoT is a major industry just waiting to explode. The Internet of Things is a simple concept; any object where an interface and processor can be installed and connected to the internet can be classified as part of the Internet of Things network. One possible feature for car keys with the IoT is if you’ve set your keys in an odd spot, the keys could notify you where they are. No more searching for an hour to find them because you didn’t leave them on the key ring or the cat knocked them off the counter. The keys could tell you exactly where they are.

Lighting is affected by the IoT in a variety of ways. In businesses lighting could be adjusted by the time of day, occupancy, flow of traffic, task performed or even to kill bacteria.  Other duties light could do is make facilities managers jobs easier this could be done with sensors and connecting lights to the internet to see how many hours of life remain on a light bulb before it needs to be replaced or what is causing a light to not dim. Lights connected to the IoT could also be a great tool for safety, guiding people to the nearest exits during fires or being connected to a security system where the lights start flickering on and off when an intruder breaks in. The IoT has endless opportunities for new products and uses.

The IoT currently is at the center of innovation, technology and ideas being implemented in Smart Cities. Through the IoT, cities are already tracking pedestrian traffic, real time energy usage, water usage and solid waste collection. From the data collected at the tips of consumers’ and businesses’ fingers, processes can be streamlined and more control can be implemented to improve services. Technology is rapidly evolving too, as Wi-Fi and Li-Fi are being implemented in different ways to connect cities. This is being done through installing routers on busses, old payphones, and lights. 

Beyond the scope of just cities, so many other industries could be affected. Manufacturing, Transport, Supply Chain, Healthcare, Insurance, Logistics, Government, Energy and Automotive industries could connect products and gather data from a distance. In the case for Healthcare, what if there was a plaster cast that could give you diagnostics on a broken bone and pictures without having to get an x-ray? This would cut down the amount of times patients would have to come in to the doctor’s office and doctors could evaluate the injury in real time on the computer, catching problems earlier.

Companies already have started implementing the IoT in their businesses and have had energy savings that are beyond the 50% energy savings you get from installing just LEDs. With more data you can propel past others learning patterns and using the knowledge to saving money and allow employees to perform in a quality environment. 

At EPL, we are lighting experts because lighting is all we do. We can upgrade your lighting systems to the 21st century and connect you to the world. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of health, safety, and energy efficiency, and always deliver on time and on budget. No change orders, ever.

Upgrading the Lighting in Nursing Homes

More people are living longer than ever before and with that, there is a bigger need for nursing homes, assisted living, and care centers for adults who aren’t able to live on their own anymore. With the growing need, there is also a rising cost for not only the patients, but also for adult care facilities as they need to expand the equipment and staff needed for patients. To cut costs for the necessary equipment and staff could be disastrous; however one big way to cut costs is through the replacement of old lighting.

Older lighting, more specifically, fluorescent bulbs, which give off a yellowish or orangish tint, when replaced with LEDs, which give off a blue light, can give you a reduction of 50% of energy costs. In the case of Gundersen Health – Tweeten Care Center, when they changed from fluorescent bulbs to the lighting installed by EPL they experienced a 63% reduction in energy costs and had the side benefits of:

  • Reduced number of falls
  • lowered medication needs
  • reduced the numbers of occurrences of sundowners syndrome

In the State of Wisconsin, 18.6% - 21.2% people in nursing homes fall once a year, according to statistics from the MDS, U.S. Census in 2015. From those falls 6.3% – 7.4 % of those falls have an injury that occurs.  For Medicare, one fall can be hundreds of thousands of dollars when there’s an injury. With Tweeten, the falls they cut down on saved them enough money to pay back for the lighting system, sooner.

Energy Performance Lighting has proudly worked with adult care facilities and other healthcare facilities before to improve lighting. Using leading technology and our experienced team of Lighting Experts, we have been able to create solutions to clients’ needs and save them money.

Check out the success story of Gundersen Health Tweeten Care Center for more details of how they saved money here:

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