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Exam Light Buying Guide


Exam Lights: What to Look For

Examination rooms see a lot of patients, because of this having reliable examination room lighting is a must. The latest exam lights have jumped forward with several technological advances and provide a much more reliable exam light helping medical practitioners provide a higher standard of patient care. Light manufacturers are constantly researching new ways to make exam lights brighter, last longer, and be more functional than ever before. With all these changes, there are some important items to keep in mind when looking into purchasing new exam lights.

LED vs. Halogen Exam Lights

One of the biggest improvements to exam lights is the LED light source. For many years halogen lights were the standard and technical advancements have replaced that. In fact, most manufacturers are no longer producing halogen exam lights. This is mostly because LED exam lights provide a brighter light and a better color temperature. LED exam lights have some significant advantages. LED exam lights produce very little heat, are much more energy efficient, and last much longer. Some light manufacturers estimate their LED lights to last approximately 50,000 hours!

As light manufacturers phase out halogen exam lights replacement parts and bulbs are harder to acquire. While you might find some exam lights that use halogen light sources, buyers are better off spending the extra money on LED exam lights because of the many overall advantages.

Types of Exam Lights

There are three main types of exam lights and depending on which type you decide to purchase these can affect the final cost of the equipment. These three types include: mobile exam lights, wall mounted exam lights, and ceiling mounted exam lights.

In this next section, we’ll go over each type to help you figure out which exam lights would be best suited for your examination rooms.

Mobile Exam Lights

Mobile exam lights are designed so that they can be easily moved from one room to another without too much hassle. They are usually designed as standalone lamps with wheels at the base.

Mobile exam lights are often found in exam rooms because of their easy mobility and flexibility. If you decide to purchase this type of exam light then there are a few things to consider:

What kind of wheels do these exam lights have? Are they big or small? This will affect how easy it is to move the light exam system from room to room.

How heavy is it? Do you need an exam light with a battery backup? You want the exam light system to be heavy enough where it won’t be easily knocked over. However, you don’t want it to be too heavy that the person transporting it will be struggling to move it.

How is the light system designed? How easy is it to adjust the height and position of the light? Is it easy for the medical staff to use? Every design is different, so you need to think about these features while providing high quality patient care.

Wall Mounted Exam Lights

Wall mounted exam lights make it so that you don’t have to transport a light stand from one room to another. They are mounted on the exam room wall and use AC electrical power. Wall mounted lights usually have one arm that is designed to swing out from the wall to reach the patient and then can be swung back to be safely stored by the wall.

The light head is mounted on an articulating arm so that it can be easily moved around. The articulating arm and light head provides a wide range of flexibility for medical professionals to have better lighting on the focus area.

The major downside to wall-mounted exam lights is that they must be placed in the optimal position. Finding the perfect location for any wall mounted medical light is difficult, especially if the examination room is small.

Ceiling Mounted Exam Lights

Ceiling mounted exam lights provide more flexibility than wall mounted lights and they are often the preferred mounting option. Ceiling mounted exam lights are important to consider when configuring an exam room because the exam table and medical carts are usually placed nearby. Ceiling mounted exam lights hang from the mounting hardware and the distance from the ceiling is based on the ceiling rod length. Ceiling rods are generally available from the light manufacturer and in lengths of 9” to 50”.

The main advantage to having a ceiling mounted exam light is the light has significant flexibility to move horizontal and vertically providing excellent visibility for examinations and minor procedures. Some ceiling exam lights can be purchased with multiple arms providing for additional exam lights, monitors, cameras, and accessories.

Other Considerations

It’s important to consider these other factors when looking to purchase an exam light.

Brightness: The measurement of the brightness of a light is measured in Lux. A Lux is equivalent to about one meter from the light source. You need to know how bright an exam light is going to be because medical professionals depend on the light source to successfully and safely perform medical procedures and for diagnosing patients.

Color Temperature: with medical lights the color temperature is measured in kelvin degrees. Halogen exam lights produce around 3,100 degrees kelvin. LED exam lights generally have color temperature around 4,300 degrees kelvin.

Light Dimming: Do you need a need light that has multiple dimming options? Many lights have two or three stages of light dimming. If the light does not show different illumination contact the seller and ask and assume it only has one brightness level.

Color Rendering (CRI): CRI is the light’s ability to show the subject in the color that it actually is. You want to find an exam light that will have a high enough CRI so that colors will appear as they really are, this will also be affected using LED or halogen light bulbs. Most LED exam lights have a CRI between 95 and 97.

Sterilizable handle: Will you use the exam light in an area where it is required that the handle be sterilized? Many manufactures make light heads with sterilizable handles. If sterilizable handles are not available, you can ask the distributor if there are any disposable handle covers available for that model.

Finally, before purchasing your exam light you should make sure that the seller is an authorized dealer for that manufacturer. Many buyers are deceived with low-quality look copies and used lights that are sold as new. Authorized dealers clearly mark used and pre-owned lights. Authorized dealers also provide replacement bulbs, replacement handles, and many other accessories and parts.