Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

News

Enlighten Project - Overcoming the 'black mirror' - a view from a hospice bedroom at night

(30 October 2017)

Hospice patients find nights difficult, often experiencing hours of sleeplessness. Family members, too, spend time through the night with their loved ones and this time can seem very long and very isolating. As part of Laura Johnston’s Leverhulme Residency at Durham University, we have worked with hospice staff; architects JDDK; and Hacel lighting to explore the benefits of non-intrusive, warm evening lighting to the garden, with the aim of creating a sense of space beyond the ‘black mirror’ effect of a window at night. An area of the hospice garden has been transformed in this way, with warm spot lights revealing the subtle colours and textures of plants and garden materials. We aim to maintain this visual connection to nature during the darker hours and are engaging with patients, visitors and staff to assess the impact and potential benefits of this approach to lighting at night.