Better with Aging: Lighting Design for Senior and Assisted Living Facilities

TLA Spotlight Blog

Better with Aging: Lighting Design for Senior and Assisted Living Facilities

Aug 3, 2021 | Products, Tech Corner

By Laura Mann


Welcome to our July Design Digest featuring my top six trends for lighting design and technologies for senior and assisted living facilities.

It is estimated that around one million Americans live in some type of senior living community, and that number is expected to double by the year 2030.

Designs for these facilities are evolving as we learn more about how lighting can impact the residents and the staff.  People rely on a supportive visual environment to maximize their independence and safety.

As a TLA Lighting Specialist who works extensively with healthcare, senior, and assisted living designers, I’ve rounded up 2021’s six most impactful trends, products, and technologies that you need to know about for your next lighting design project.


1. A sense of home & wellness 

Products that offer natural materials, soft shades, no direct view of the source, warmth; lighting which offers good shielding/lenses to mitigate harsh glare and direct sources.



Tersus by Cerno wood grain sconces in context

Wood grain Tersus wall sconces x Cerno: Promoting a home-like environment with attention to holistic wellness.


2. Biophilic designs

Biophilic designs are shown to improve peoples’ overall sense of well-being. Installations and designs that bring a sense of outdoors in—trees, flowers, sky, birds, and other creatures enable residents to make those vital connections even when mobility or health issues limit the time they can spend outdoors.


fabric printed wall murals from Artolis x Barrisol

Discover the full range of technical fabric printed wall murals from Artolis x Barrisol, Biophilic designs that make connections to nature.



Alva LED technology wall sconce in context

Built for Senior Living & Multi-Family Residential, Alva’s LED technology creates even illumination of the shade without hot spots and shadowing. They have a 100,000+ hours rated lifetime.

All Alva shades feature vandal resistant, IK10 UL Certified (protected against 20 joules of impact), architectural resin by ALVA Lighting. Alva’s resin is environmentally friendly and features translucent resin patterns with embedded fabric & natural materials.

Architectural decorative lighting

Architectural Decorative Lighting from SPI Lighting offers powerful performance while creating a sense of natural ambiance with art-like finishes.


Sebring sconce and Reo Mount from SPI Lighting

On the left: Sebring Decor.
The Sebring sconce provides a designer’s “eye” to the world around it. This version features an inset decorative panel that adds a sense of depth and texture. You can choose from a variety of standard architectural panels or customize your own to complement any decor. Also, choose from a palette of painted finishes or a brushed aluminum metal finish.

On the right: Reo Surface Mount Decor.
Reo can be mounted to any wall surface and comply with ADA requirements while providing supplemental side illumination. Reo’s unique light source orientation illuminates in front of and behind the decorative translucent panel, intensifying a 3D effect.  The ability to complement any style comes standard.


3. Cleanable lighting

Lighting with cleanable fabrics, antimicrobial finishes, and easy wipe-down characteristics.

lighting inspiration barbican circular pendant with lumiscapes print in waiting area

We love this decorative and cleanable lighting in a pop of color, statement-making drum x Barbican. View their entire line of wall and ceiling luminaires.


4. Tunable & circadian lighting

Helps regulate healthy sleeping patterns; improves sleep quality; improves physical, mental, and emotional well-being and overall health.

Dynamic lighting helps to create a sense of the passage of time or circadian rhythm for both residents and staff. Circadian lighting also supports sleep/wake cycles and can create a more comfortable environment for residents, contributing to their overall greater satisfaction and comfort.

Further, the use of robust dimmers that allow lighting level adjustments and low flicker. And adhering to IES recommendations of CRI of 80+ and slightly higher CCT, which can help mitigate the loss of color discrimination that can occur with age.


tunable and circadian lighting from acuity brands

Learn more about Tunable White that enables circadian lighting from Acuity Brands.

At its core, cycled light encourages a deeper, biophilic connection to nature – a connection that’s often missing from indoor environments. The Tunable White dynamic feature enables the creation of scenes and modes that can be aligned with key activities that require occupants to be more focused, relaxed, or energetic.

Circadian lighting through Tunable White supports sleep/wake cycles and can promote an intellectually stimulating learning environment. It is best used in spaces where occupant experience and performance are important, like school classrooms or college campuses.

Enhance the aesthetic design with Tunable White, and unlock new possibilities of circadian lighting to bring your vision of the space to life!


P9000 Sky Prulite Context


Tunable White is perfect for healthcare, office spaces, corporate interiors, education, retail, hospitality, and recreation applications. Tunable White features four ranges: Rhythm, from 2700 K to 6500 K; Productivity, from 3000 K to 5000 K; Layers, from 2000 K to 5000 K; and Atmosphere, from 1800 K to 4300 K.





For technologically advanced recessed options, including playful colorful dropdowns, visit Prulite or click the images above for featured product specs and versatile modern lighting for multi-use spaces.

Pure­light Square and Round are con­structed from extruded alu­minum wide poly­car­bon­ate lens, pol­ished die-cast end­caps, and wall brack­ets. An impact-resis­tant lens pro­tects against dust, ensures high lumi­naire effi­ciency, and allows easy access to opti­cal cham­ber. A satine poly­car­bon­ate lens pro­vides excep­tional uni­for­mity and qual­ity vol­u­met­ric inte­rior light­ing.



Purelight from Selux in Gordon Ramsey Steakhouse


Selux offers mul­ti­ple LED options includ­ing LEDs in static 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, or 4000K CCTs at 80+ and 90+ CRI, My White tun­able white in 2700K — 6500K at 90+ CRI, BIOS Sky­Blue® Tech­nol­ogy at 83+ CRI, and RGBW. All LED options are within a 3-step MacAdam ellipse. Custom lumen out­puts are also avail­able upon request.


5. Occupancy & sensing devices

 Help avoid falls and fumbling for wall control devices by automatically turning on lights.


Acuity daylight sensing devices in context

Sensors that make the most sense

Acuity Brands offers a broad selection of occupancy and daylight sensing devices for commercial and industrial settings. Contact your TLA Sales Rep for details on which sensors are the best fit for your upcoming project.


Low-level night lights with embedded occ sensor for bedsides and restrooms

 The use of motion/occ sensors to automatically turn on lights/night lights to help avoid falls, confusion, searching for controls, and to offer improved middle of the night check-ins.


The New Star Healthcare Night Light Series from Acuity

The New Star Healthcare Night Light Series (HNL) provides a low-profile design with a variety of faceplates to choose from for when low-level lighting is needed.

6. UV disinfection technology

UV Disinfection Technology is designed to reduce harmful pathogens and offer peace of mind for residents and caregivers.


UV disinfection context acuity brands


Decades of research and historical observation have demonstrated the effectiveness of using UV light to fight pathogens. Since the start of the pandemic, advances in UV lighting technology have come to the forefront of scientific discussions, the news cycle, and healthcare lighting design.

Read more about UV Disinfection and explore the many options currently available from Acuity Brands.


Thanks for joining me today on the TLA Spotlight Blog!  You can email me or reach out to your TLA Sales Rep for more information on any of the products, technologies, or manufacturers featured in today’s post.

Until next time,

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