NICU Standard 24: Procedure Lighting in Infant Care Areas

Separate procedure lighting shall be mounted at each infant bed. The luminaire shall be capable of providing no less than 2000 lux at the plane of the infant bed, and must be framed so that no more than 2% of the light output of the luminaire extends beyond its illumination field. This lighting shall be adjustable so that lighting at less than maximal levels can be provided.

Interpretation: Temporary increases in illumination necessary to evaluate a baby or to perform a procedure should be possible without increasing lighting levels for other babies in the same room.

Since intense light may be unpleasant and harmful to the developing retina, every effort should be made to prevent direct light from reaching the infant’s eyes. Procedure lights with adjustable intensity, field size, and direction will help protect the infant’s eyes from direct exposure and provide the best visual support to staff.

It is preferable that the procedure light be mounted on the headwall, ceiling, or incubator in lieu of a floor stand. This will maximize the space around the infant work area and minimize trip hazards.

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