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Lighting - more attractive tamper resistant fixtures

September 28, 2013
by James M. Hunt, AIA
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The current trends toward providing less institutional looking behavioral health care units while maintaining a high level of safety for patients has created some challenges in identifying light fixtures that meet both requirements.


Many facilities continue to use 2’x4’ or 2’x2’ fluorescent light fixtures while saying that they want a more “residential” appearance to their inpatient areas.  My question is, “how many of this type of light fixtures do you have in your home?”  Frequently, there is a 2’x4’ fluorescent fixture located directly over the patients/ bed.  This makes sense in a medical unit where staff may be starting IVs or other medical procedures that are seldom performed in typical psychiatric units.  Using this type of fixture in these locations is very unpleasant for patients, especially if these fixtures are the primary illumination in the patient room, as is often the case. 

I recently became aware of some fixtures that fit this description quite well.  They are made by Luminaire Lighting Corporation located in New Jersey.  They have several fixtures that fit the criteria, but two I that would like to discuss here are the Sonar and Anyx Series.  They can be mounted on either walls or ceilings and have vandal resistant features such as break resistant lenses and tamper resistant screws.  They are better for use than standard fixtures, especially where low ceilings in corridors or other spaces prevent getting the light fixtures beyond easy reach of the patients. 

They are available in a variety of styles that work well with the therapeutic ambiance of current trends of interior design of these units.

More information is available regarding this type of light fixture in the “Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities” that is available free of charge from the website of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems at   As always, I have no finiancial arrangement with any products I feature.


Jim Hunt

Behavioral Healthcare Design Consultant

Jim Hunt

James M. Hunt, AIA, is a practicing architect and facility management professional with over 40...

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