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Hospital employees’ perceptions of circadian lighting: a pharmacy department case study

Lindsay J. McCunn (Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, Canada)
Jeremy Wright (Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, Canada)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 13 November 2019

Issue publication date: 20 November 2019




An interdisciplinary body of literature has focused on the role of lighting in mitigating patient and employee stress and error-producing conditions in hospital settings. The purpose of this study is to explore how a new circadian lighting system installed in a small pharmacy unit with no penetration of natural light is experienced by staff. Psychosocial variables, such as affective organizational commitment, perceived productivity, well-being, and satisfaction with the physical work environment, were measured to further a line of inquiry that may help facilities managers and hospital administrators make optimal choices when purchasing lighting and commissioning retrofits.


Post-occupancy evaluation; mixed methods survey design.


While affective organizational commitment, perceived productivity, well-being and satisfaction with the physical work environment were experienced, to some extent, by employees, low average responses about whether the setting had improved, as the circadian lighting had been installed suggest that the retrofit did not affect them as positively as expected. Counter to the intention of the installation, participants did not perceive the circadian lighting as having strongly improved their levels of stress, concentration, mood or fatigue at work.


More research on simulated daylighting should be done to optimize occupant responses to lighting retrofits in hospitals. This case study supports recommendations to measure relevant psychosocial variables before and after a design change. Similarly, sized units within hospitals and health care facilities that possess analogous dimensions and design constraints concerning a lack of daylight penetration will benefit from this study’s mixed methods, results and interpretations.



McCunn, L.J. and Wright, J. (2019), "Hospital employees’ perceptions of circadian lighting: a pharmacy department case study", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 422-437.



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