A bespoke lighting feature by The Light Lab, installed in the ceiling of a patient assessment room in the A&E department of the newly refurbished Charing Cross Hospital, has been shortlisted for the design in mental health awards 2019 – in the ‘Art Installation of the Year’ category.

The installation, entitled ‘Wellbeing in Crisis’ is a backlit high output, low resolution ceiling light feature, comprising of different scenes inspired by nature, including clouds and the moon in the night sky, all programmed & controlled by the latest SPI technology.
Working to an initial design concept by researcher/architect William Wang, in collaboration with clinical consultant Dr. Barbara Cleaver on research and improvements of mental health patient pathway – the intention behind the lighting is to allow a gentle stimulation; to create a calming environment for patients and make the space less clinical and institutional.

As William describes, “The lighting is meant to evoke an outdoor environment and reinforces the circadian rhythm for patients in these facilities. This is part of the overall environment redesign for mental health patients in the emergency pathway. The effect of this redesign is being monitored as part of the research to ascertain the level of success of the project.”

The Light Lab created the bespoke installation, alongside specialist visual programmer Hugh Mitchell-Dawson, who helped design the scenes that appear across the lightbox during the course of the day.

The feature is a prime example of how bespoke lighting is being used to affect mood and create a sense of calm, across the mental health industry, with research showing that lighting and color in general have repeatedly shown to have the ability to influence someone’s mood; both at a biological and psychological level.

Author Ellen Murphy