The core mission of a health care facility related to patient health, safety and comfort is always a higher priority than improving the building’s exterior lighting system.
But when employees and visitors started fearing for their safety when approaching and leaving St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., because the lighting around the hospital was insufficient, the owners of the facility, Dignity Health, recognized the problem.
“Many employees and visitors who arrived in the evening complained about burned-out lights and dark areas,” says Joe Garibay, the St. Mary engineering manager, who adds that outdoor lighting at hospitals is a nationwide issue. “A lot of (engineering managers) say it’s budget. They don’t have the money to replace the systems, but they really need them badly.”
Dignity Health owns 38 hospitals in California, Arizona and Nevada. Many of the facilities are similar to St. Mary — older, urban hospitals featuring outdoor lighting systems that date back to the 1990s and sorely need upgrades to improve energy efficiency and security.