When LED surgical lights first hit the market about a decade ago, the main selling point was their coolness that is, their bright light didn't generate much heat. This thermal benefit originally brought LEDs into cardiovascular and neurosurgical operating rooms, above cases in which the drying out of tissue is to be avoided at all costs.
But the technology soon found a following in many other specialties, and installations in many ORs and procedure rooms. Now LED lights are the industry standard for surgical illumination, and halogens are rarely even in the running for equipment replacement or new construction projects.
Less expensive in the long run
Even today, some potential buyers may pause at LED lights' higher initial cost, but the reality is, they're the more economical option. In older, halogen-driven technology, the bulb replacement costs during the lifespan of the light fixture may well end up equaling or exceeding the entire cost of an LED system. Light-emitting diodes' usable lives are measured in years, as compared to halogen bulbs' hours. The LEDs also consume less energy, which contributes to the lower cost of ownership. Bright, cool and color-true. Long-lasting, low-maintenance and energy-efficient. It's easy to see why LEDs have taken over surgical lighting.
So if your surgeons are routinely wearing headlamps to supplement the light that your old workhorses shine on their cases; if a renovation offers the opportunity to upgrade your illumination and standardize a mixed bag of vendors for overhead fixtures; if replacement parts for your existing lights are purchased more frequently, or becoming harder to obtain, then it's time to look into LED lights.
The light that a system delivers its intensity, color quality and shadowing is without question the most important consideration, but there are other aspects that should factor into your purchasing decision, such as a system's reach, ease of positioning and stability, and its suitability for the types of procedures at your facility. Many vendors have mobile versions of surgical lighting systems that can be brought in for on-site trials. Some vendors will actually hang a set of lights in your OR for a period of evaluation if the ceiling structure can support it.
Vendors now offer a variety of light heads and reflective surfaces, with many moving away from the traditional round head and toward new shapes that provide more flexibility and dimension in surgical illumination. The style and shape can play a role in shadow control, which LED lights excel at. With older halogen lights, if a bulb was obscured you got a shadow, no two ways about it, and if a bulb went out, surgery stopped for it to be replaced. Many LED lights are smarter and automatically adjust by sending higher light outputs to other bulbs if they detect an obstruction or if one of them fails.
A vendor's support of the equipment should also be a key selling point for buyers. You'll be much more confident if you know the vendor will be there after the sale, so make sure to interview other administrators whose facilities have purchased similar lights, not only with regard to the lights' performance but also to verify that the vendor is holding true to promises made during the purchasing process.
Additionally, cost is always a factor, of course, but it shouldn't be the only one. Do your homework, look at various products and vendors to determine what meets your needs, consider your facility's future and the service lines you might add that will need to utilize your ORs and procedure rooms, and keep your staff and physicians an integral part of the evaluation process.
Bovie Medical Corporation
System Two LED Surgical Lights
Pricing: $8,549 to $24,557, depending on number of light heads and system requirements
FYI: Bovie's System Two line of LED surgical lights consume half the electricity of halogen systems, an energy efficiency that delivers significant long-term savings for healthcare facilities. The long-life, 50,000-hour-rated LEDs eliminate OR downtime due to replacing burned-out bulbs (as well as the need to purchase and store extra bulbs). The LEDs are output-rated at 120,000 lux with a color temperature of 4,300 ? Kelvin and shadow-reduction technology. The System Two, which includes a spring-arm for optimal positioning, is available in solo-, duo- and tri-mounted styles, with or without camera and monitor integration.
Vision EX5 Minor Procedure Light
Pricing: Single-mount light starts at $2,995
FYI: DRE Medical's Vision EX5 mid-sized LED light provides an efficient alternative to high-powered OR lighting systems for illuminating smaller cases in procedure rooms and patient bays. Available in single and dual ceiling-mounted, single wall-mounted and portable floor light configurations, the Vision EX5 delivers a 50,000 lux output at 1 meter, features a 3-stage adjustable dimming system, and incorporates dimming and power functions on a removable, sterilizable handle.
Volista LED Lights
Pricing: Not disclosed
FYI: Maquet's Volista provides a deep column of light with even distribution and true color clarity. Its easily maneuverable suspension arms make it integration-friendly and HD-camera-ready. The system includes such innovative technologies as a shadow reduction feature which dims obstructed LEDs and brightens surrounding ones, and automatically adjusted illumination levels to maintain light consistency throughout surgery. The highest lux setting is not routinely needed, due to the system's specialized lenses, but can be accessed with Maquet's patented Boost technology.
Vu LED Surgical Light
Pricing: Not disclosed
FYI: The newest addition to Nuvo's line of LED lights, the Vu brings simplicity back to surgical illumination. Turn it on, position the light head and operate. But simplicity doesn't mean sacrifice. The Vu offers 160,000 lux output at its highest intensity level. It provides an optimal color temperature of 4,300 ? K and color rendering index of 95. Its superior shadow control is the product of Cross Focus Technology, which enables the LEDs to move independently of each other while adjusting the pattern size, illuminating the subject with individual light beams for consistency in large and small patterns.
Aurora 3 LED Surgical Lights
Pricing: Not disclosed
FYI: Focused light is essential to visualizing precise detail at varying depths. Skytron's Aurora 3 surgical lights make focus easy. A twist of the sterile center handle lets you move the focal point up or down and keep the light head's distance, clearing the line of sight and minimizing collisions with other overhead fixtures. Aurora also features unique reflector technology for a crisp, homogenous spot, and the choice of a warmer (4,100 ? K) or cooler (4,500 ? K) color temperature, depending on the procedure type. The lights are available in 24-inch or 30-inch diameters and in multiple configurations, and are compatible with booms, flat-screen display arms, HD cameras or other integrated equipment, says the company.
Visum Blade LED
Pricing: $12,500 to $28,500 depending on configuration and options (installation services not included)
FYI: Stryker's latest addition to its surgical lighting portfolio, the Visum Blade LED, offers a simplified solution to OR illumination. An intuitive, sterile control lets you adjust the intensity of the light without diverting your sight from the surgical field. A slim profile and lightweight design make intraoperative maneuvering and positioning easy. An output of 160,000 lux and shadow reduction technology provide a consistent column of light with minimal repositioning necessary.
Leo Minor LED Surgical Light
Pricing: not disclosed
FYI: The compact, lightweight design of Sunnex's Leo Minor LED surgical light features 20 energy-efficient, 50,000-hour-lifespan bulbs for uniform, homogenous light patterns that minimize shadows on the subject. The 5-stage dimmable light offers a maximum output of 80,000 lux and high, daylight-like color rendering index and color temperature levels. Dual controls allow dimming from within the sterile area (on an easily removable, sterilizable handle) as well as by non-sterile hands (on a touchpad unit). The sealed, low-maintenance unit minimizes heat for safety and can be quickly cleaned. It is available on a mobile base or wall mount, and as a single- or dual-head ceiling mounted lamp.
Pricing: Varies based on configuration
FYI: The Trumpf TruLight 5000 features high-quality light output, functional simplicity and a modern, ultra-thin, easy-to-maneuver light head. Delivering up to 160,000 lux, it uses automatic Adaptable Light Control technology to optimize illumination at any height, says the company. Its incorporated sterile controls allow for direct adjustment of intensity, color temperature (in 4 settings, from 3,500 ? K to 5,000 ? K) and pattern size with minimal change in intensity. The energy-efficient TruLight 5000 is also available with the optional TruVidia HD in-light video camera.