VISTAMATIC – Seeing The Light…

DSCN1347VISTAMATIC® constantly strives to remain in the forefront of research and development when it comes to providing the most complete range of secure observation solutions and our most recent testing agenda has focused on light transmittance. VISTAMATIC® products are key to the day-to-day activities and treatment methods within healthcare environments across the globe and as a result of recent positive studies, design specifications are placing increasing importance of enhancing or excluding light from certain areas. The overall aim is to have a range of options available across our product range to ensure the benefits shown in these studies can be realised without having to forgo the presence of VISTAMATIC® vision panels in the process.

The results of the testing were overwhelmingly positive and enabled VISTAMATIC® to certified vision panels with black and white vinyl graphic options to provide a ‘black-out’ effect against light transmittance in areas where light must be restricted (i.e. sleep deprivation centres, sleep studies, etc.). In addition to this, VISTAMATIC® also certified the standard sandblast option to enhance natural daylight, proving without doubt that discrete observation and optimising levels of natural daylight are by no means mutually exclusive.

Christie ward 9 -1All VISTAMATIC®vision panels come with sandblasted lines as standard but black or white vinyl options can be substituted across the full product range if desired.

The complete Visible Light Transmittance Report is available to download now on our website.

The importance of light within healthcare is becoming increasingly under the spotlight and the two extracts below really highlight the vital role it can have:

  1 Light impacts human health and performance by enabling performance of visual tasks, controlling the body’s circadian system, affecting mood and perception, and by enabling critical chemical reactions in the body. Studies show that higher light levels are linked with better performance of complex visual tasks and light requirements increase with age. By controlling the body’s circadian system, light impacts outcomes in healthcare settings by reducing depression among patients, decreasing length of stay in hospitals, improving sleep and circadian rhythm, lessening agitation among dementia patients, easing pain, and improving adjustment to night-shift work among staff. The presence of windows in the workplace and access to daylight have been linked with increased satisfaction with the work environment. Further, exposure to light is critical for viatmin D metabolism in the human body. Light exposure also is used as a treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.

Adequate and appropriate exposure to light is critical for health and well-being of patients as well as staff in healthcare settings. A combination of daylight and electric light can meet these needs. Natural light should be incorporated into lighting design in healthcare settings, not only because it is beneficial to patients and staff, but also because it is light delivered at no cost and in a form that most people prefer.

² In addition to “feeling good,” natural light entering the eye activates or effects a number of specific physiological processes, specifically the fluctuations in biological activity and behaviour coinciding with the 24 hour day/night cycle, the human circadian rhythm. Light can affect body temperature and the hormones cortisol and melatonin, which in turn effect the body’s ability to deal with fatigue and stress. Removing barriers between “inside” (patients and workers) and the “outside” and consciously designing cues (both natural and electric) to engage the circadian rhythm can positively affect alertness, the immune system and energy levels.

Ultimately, using less artificial light and enhancing natural daylight in healthcare can improve patient and staff well-being, however, this can be difficult to achieve while also ensuring patient privacy and safety; a balance between patient privacy and enhancing natural daylight can be a challenge.


1 The Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings by Anjali Jospeh, Ph.D., Director of Research, The Center for Health Design. Issue Paper #2 August 2006. []

2 Healthcare Design Insights by Mahlum. Issue 01, Autumn 2009, Daylighting. []