How do I know if I have the right lighting in my practice?

In part, you can see for yourself. Point the lens of your smartphone camera at the fluorescent lights or LED lights in your treatment room. If you see any flickering on the screen, this means that you do not have the optimal driver installed and that your eyes are under a lot of strain. Measuring light can also be done with certain apps (Luxmeter app) although these are often not very accurate. There are companies you can approach which are specialized in practice lighting, can perform a light measurement and give advice based on their findings.

Understandably, warm light colours give us the impression to be cozy and pleasant. For workplace lighting it is not advisable, however. There are many other ways to make your practice feel warm and welcoming without sacrificing the workplace lighting needs as a dental practitioner. Specialists in dentistry lighting can often offer simple adaptations if desired, which, despite the use of daylight, can create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your treatment room.

LED lighting is developing enormously and will continue to do so. In many cases there are LED solutions such as in workplace lighting. Until recently, however, it was not possible to make LEDs in a daylight colour which could match certain fluorescent full-spectrum daylight lamps. The necessary wattage, a high RA value of 93+ and a low UGR value to reduce glare were not yet available in LEDs. Dentled now offers all of these properties.

If the luminance of your treatment room(s) is improved / increased, it is good to also look at other areas in the personnel routing of your practice. It can be tiring for your eyes if the light intensity and/or colour in the personnel routing of your practice does not transition naturally to the updated rooms. As a result you may experience the ‘tunnel effect’: a blinding effect which is noticeable when you drive from a daylight environment into a poorly lit tunnel. Take into account a gradual transition and the same colour temperature in the routing of your practice. This is why we see most dentists decide to install Dentled for the entire staff routing. Waiting rooms are often equipped with warmer colour temperatures, however.

Standard luminaires that are produced in large numbers are designed for “standard workplaces”, such as offices and schools, where the guidelines (500 lux brightness in the workplace) are much lower than those of in precision work environments in combination with operation lamps (2000 lux). The custom-made luminaires have been designed for exactly these applications, which means, that more LEDs can be fitted in a luminaire and that the ratio of direct/indirect lighting is different from common fixtures.

For common workplace e.g. offices, a guideline of 500 Lux at the workbench is applied. Because a dentist uses an surgical lamp with an average of 20,000-25,000 Lux, it is advisable to increase the ambient luminance to 2000 Lux, to avoid the tunnel effect among others.

To achieve 2000 Lux in the work environment of dentists, higher wattages are required than what standard fixtures, of schools or offices e.g., can deliver. Hence, to be able to provide 2000 Lux at the workplace, Dentled fixtures have a considerably higher wattage than regular light fixtures.

There is a lot of confusion about terms used in the field of lighting. Many LED suppliers use Lux and Lumen interchangeably. This can result in customers purchasing the wrong kind of lighting that won’t match their needs or comparing the wrong types of luminaires to one another.

Lumen is the sum of all light being emitted regardless of its direction. Lumen is, like Lux and Candela, a so-called photometric unit which means the human eye is taken into account when determining the amount of Lumen emitted by a light source.

This is necessary because some people see certain colours better than others. Consider a light source fed with one Watt and emitting a specific colour such as 550nm (green), then the light source would be emitting 683 Lumen. When the same light source powered with only one Watt would be emitting 650nm (orange) the light source would only emit 73 Lumen!

With the same Wattage even the difference between various shades of warm white can result in substantially different amounts of Lumen. This is why it is important to take the colour temperature (Kelvin) and power (Watt) into consideration.

Lux are also a unit of light intensity. The amount of Lux describes the amount of light (Lumen) reaching a certain surface area. In fact, the amount of Lux says more than the amount of Lumen. This is one of the reasons why lighting guidelines are usually expressed in the amount of Lux required at a particular location.

Colour rendering is the degree to which non-natural light (a lamp) is used to represent the colours of illuminated objects in comparison with the colour rendering of real daylight. The unit for colour rendering is Ra or CRI. Natural daylight is represented by 100 Ra.

Read more about colour rendering on our colour rendering page