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Lighting for Senior Care | Circadian Lighting

VISUAL TIMING LIGHT (VTL) from Derungs, recreates the effects of natural daylight, restoring proper rhythm and balance to people’s lives.

VTL is a complete lighting solution, not just the bulbs.  As you browse the selection of light styles on our website you’ll see the VTL logo:

HPA Derungs VTL LogoThis logo indicates that the light you are viewing can be a VTL or Standard light fixture.

The Internal Clock

Light affects important hormonal and metabolic processes, synchronising our internal clocks again and again. Light gives our lives rhythm. Whenever there is a lack of natural daylight our rhythm is disrupted.

Although our biological clocks are genetically preset to compensate for the 24-hour cycle, it must be re-synchronised daily through exposure to daylight or artificial light designed to replicate daylight.

Hormone levels of Melatonin, Cortisol and Serotonin, all crucial elements in keeping our systems in balance, are greatly impacted by this process. If exposure to daylight is missing, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue and/or depression may soon follow.

A Form of Circadian Lighting

Utilising state-of-the-art, tunable LED lighting technology, VISUAL TIMING LIGHT (VTL) is a light management system that automatically and gradually changes the intensity and colour temperature of VTL enabled LEDs, through-out the day.

VTL is biologically effective humancentric lighting and is a form of circadian lighting, helping to create and maintain healthy wake/rest rhythms.

First developed in 2014, in Switzerland, by Derungs, VTL has been installed in over 250 Aged Care and Health facilities, since 2017, demonstrating and proving a wide range of benefits for residents, caregivers and operators.

The benefits of Circadian Lighting in stimulating growth and healing have long been appreciated in the health sector with hospitals utilising circadian lighting in care wards such as Intensive Care Units and where patients are bedridden for long periods.  (see also HT Cover / HT Sky Ceiling / HT Healing Light)

Designed specifically to benefit the health and well being of residents in aged care, particularly those living with the effects of dementia, as well as visual or cognitive impairments, Derungs Visual Timing Light combines circadian lighting technology (tuneable LEDs) with beautiful, architectural luminaire fittings.

Seeing the Light of Day

Digital Technology has changed our lives. By simulating the environment‘s 24-hour light cycle, the Visual Timing Lighting system by Derungs, replicates natural daylight and provides residents visual comfort by regulating their natural circadian rhythms. Various lighting scenarios can be defined via sophisticated, digital lighting controls. Each scenario can be customized by having a special adjustment of light color and intensity to provide the most pleasant lighting.

Diagram showing the 24 hour phasing for the HPA Derungs VTL Circadian Lighting
Derungs VTL – 24 Hour Cycle

Marvel of Nature – The 3rd Dimension of Light

It is well known that the benefits of light go beyond just helping us see and creating a pleasant atmosphere with space.

Now, scientific research has shown that natural light also positively affects our biological health and well-being. These findings have created the third biological dimension of light.

For people that are confined to the indoors most of the time, such as the elderly and physically impaired, the lack of daylight can have far-reaching implications. Insufficient natural day light has a profound negative affect on people’s lives.

Derungs has set out to improve the well-being of these people and assist in improving their overall quality of life.

Diagram showing the 3 dimensions of light which is research for the HPA Derungs VTL Circadian Light LED Technology

Derungs VTL – The Dimensions of Light

Taking Cues from Nature

When trying to mimic the effects of natural light to balance people’s circadian rhythms, the lighting system should follow similar parameters to nature. As in nature, the main illumination should originate from a large source area light. The combination of direct and indirect light sources produces an “artificial sky light”. Ideally, the wall and ceiling light blend smoothly, giving the environment a soft, natural feel.

Image of the angle blue effect in relation to Derungs VTL Circadian Light a blue sky with clouds and the sun shining and a brightly lit aged care corridor

Advantages for Residents – As if the Sun is Shining

Independent studies show a direct link between daylight and well-being. We now know that biodynamic light has a positive impact on emotional and physical well-being.

Morning light invigorates the mind and promotes activity.  From the middle of the day, warm tone light supports the body and prepares it for night.  The day-night rhythm is sustainable stabilized.

A lack of daylight is compensated for and can prevent the development of mood fluctuations and even depression.

Stabilization of the circadian rhythm by the daylight dependent changes in light intensity and light colour.  Especially people with dementia can by helped by this.

Activation and promotion of rest periods by restoring the circadian rhythm.

Improved well-being – the emotional and physical well-being improves as a result of restful nights.

The administration of sleep inducing drugs could even be reduced in some cases.

Infographic for HPA Derungs VTL Circadian Lighting describing the benefits for residents and showing a happy elderly gentleman with a smiling nurse.
Advantages for Residents – Benefits at a Glance

Advantages for Caregivers – Good Light Relieves the Caregivers

Employees report that proper lighting enhances the work environment and results in less eye strain and fatigue. If residents feel more relaxed, more comfortable in their surroundings and participate more in daily activities, it improves the effectiveness of caregivers’ efforts.

At the same time, VTL helps in creating a common routine for the day.  Circadian lighting provides visual cues for meal times and recreation.  Especially in people with dementia, VTL helps to stabilise the sleep-wake cycle.  In short; the nursing staff also benefits from biodynamic light.

Lack of daylight or even false light at the wrong time of day is balanced and counteracts insomnia.

Improved well-being by biodynamic light that supports the internal clock of the employees.

Freeing personnel through animated activity and resting phases at the right time and basically balanced residents.

Relaxed into the evening with fewer headaches and less tired eyes, which are often a result of poor lighting.

Motivation of staff by knowing the residents are given individual care and are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Infographic for HPA Derungs VTL Circadian Lighting describing the benefits for residents and showing a happy elderly lady with a smiling nurse.
Advantages for Caregivers – Benefits at a Glance

Advantages for Operators & Managers – Holistic Care

When comprehensively planning the lighting needs of the elderly, it is important to consider the needs of the staff as well.  Proper lighting has significant impact on health and well-being, and helps provide the best quality of life for seniors.

The higher investments succeed:  The very high light yield of Derungs VTL LED lights requires fewer lights than other conventional lighting systems. In addition, the sophisticated light management system helps save on costs and energy.

Perceived immense additional value due to the interior design measures, particularly in the context of renovation projects.

Measurable added value by reducing absenteeism and lost days of staff, increasing commitment and motivation of staff.

Economically efficient thanks to intelligent lighting management and state-of-the-art economical LED bulbs.

Clear signal effect in relation to comprehension, holistic care of residents.

Growing reputation of the facility through the use of need-based lighting systems for the elderly, especially dementia sufferers.

Info graphic explaining the benefits for operators of the HPA Derungs VTL Circadian Lighting system
Advantages for Operators – Benefits at a Glance

How to Incorporate Derungs Visual Timing Light in Your Facility or Project

The HPA Health & Care Lighting team work closely with our Light Planning partners at Derungs to assist you through the entire specification and selection process.

If you’re an experienced light planner and have your own software then simply let HPA know which light fittings you are interested in incorporating and we will provide the required technical specifications etc.  See also the links at the bottom of this page.

If you’re not an experienced light planner – get in touch with our team.

We’ll work through your project requirements with you.  We’ll need the approximate dimensions of your rooms and what style of light fitting you are wishing to incorporate then we’ll develop a thorough plan for you that you’ll be able to easily comprehend and relate to others in your project team or facility.


Q) How Does Visual Timing Light Work?

A) Via Tunable LEDs with a VTL Control Module

Visual Timing Light (VTL) is simple and scalable.

You choose the light fitting to suit your interior design scheme, we work with you to ensure you have the appropriate lux output and colour temperature.  When installed the electrican will link the individual lights to one of two different VTL Control Modules, depending on how many lights are to be operated by each module.

Each VTL light unit has 2 tunable LED bulbs (1 warm white & 1 cool white) – meaning that each light requires 2 addresses in the Dali controller.  1 for each bulb.

The VTL control module, automatically and gradually, adjusts the lux output (brightness) and colour temperature (3,000K to 6,500K) throughout the day by adjusting each VTL bulbs accordingly and blending their light.  The result is a homogenous, healthy light.

Small VTL Control Module – Maximum of 8 Dali addresses = 4 VTL Lights

This type of VTL Control Module is used to control between 1 and 4 VTL enabled light fittings, such as Vivaa and Zera, in individual room installations and is the quickest option for re-furbishing rooms.  The Zera has been designed for the Small VTL Control Module to fit inside the luminaire body however for other light designs the module is placed inside the ceiling or wall that the light is attached to.

Large VTL Control Module – Maximum of  128 Dali addresses = 64 VTL Lights.

This type of VTL Control Module is used in larger configurations and areas, such as corridors, admin areas and communal rooms like lounge and dining areas, where there are a large number of lights in the one area.

Although the control module can host 64 VTL lights we recommend a maximum of 50 per module as this will ensure there is capacity on the control module to add or change lights in the future without having to install a new control module.

Q) What does VTL cost?

A) Always the first or second question!

Contact our Health & Care Lighting team today who can provide proposals and quotations for your consideration.

Costs of VTL enabled light fittings are generally only 15%-20% higher than non VTL enabled lights.  A small premium which is easily justified by the improved health and well-being of residents and patients.  Capital costs are soon recovered by efficiencies of energy usage, the long life of VTL LED bulbs and improvements in staff efficiency and retention.

Larger or more complex projects may take a little more time to develop a lighting plan and proposal however, with so many successfully completed projects, we can quite accurately provide initial estimates for your budgeting requirements.

Q) Who installs Derungs VTL lights?

A) Usually the head electrical contractor.

Generally speaking the builder you contract to your new build or refurbishment will purchase the specified lights from HPA and install them or subcontract it out.  We provide all the necessary technical and installation instructions.

For smaller projects and refurbishment projects HPA can provide an installation service using our team of qualified and highly skilled electrical contractors.

Q) Can I control, interrupt or suspend the VTL from automatically changing?

A) Yes.

Configurations using the large VTL Control Module can control the lighting entirely via an IPAD Application, allowing simple activation of customized ligting moods.

An example of this in practice would be a recreation room that hosts an afternoon event such as a residents’ birthday party.  You may want cooler light that stimulates alertness rather than the afternoon gradually phasing to the more relaxing, warmer colour temperature, lower lux tones.

In which case you would simply open the IPAD App and select the lighting level you desire.  At the end of the event, simply return the setting to the programmed Circadian Lighting scheme.

Q) How is the lighting scene developed, programmed or changed?

A) Quite Simply!

The Small VTL Control Modules contains a pre-programmed SD card, which is programmed by Derungs according to the geographical location of each installation.  This means that seasonal variations, including day-light savings, are pre-programmed for a ‘set and forget’ approach.

If there is any reason that the lighting scene does need to be adapted or changed it is a simple matter of changing the SD card.

The Large VTL Control Module is programmed on-site by a technician during installation.

The Vivaa Free-Standing Lamps feature an individual and fully integrated control module meaning you can move the Vivaa Free-Standing Lamps around, as you would any other lamp, without interfering with the Circadian Lighting scheme programming.

Q) What happens if the light is turned off, disconnected or the facility loses power temporarily?

A) There is no interruption to the programmed sequence.

VTL Control Modules have a battery-buffered, real time clock with more than 5 years power reserve.

When the VTL enabled light is turned on, the lux output and colour temperature will automatically be the pre-programmed setting for that particular day and time, regardless of how long the light has been turned off.

Q) Can we integrate cost and energy efficiency devices such as sensors?

A) Yes!

The VTL System is extremely versatile.  Additional system components such as daylight sensors and the presence detectors can be integrated when using the Large VTL Control Module and further optimise energy efficiency.

Q) The lights are manufactured in Switzerland.  Who provides service and support in Australia?

A)We Do! – HPA

Hospital Products Australia distribute Derungs Health & Care Lighting in Australia, including Visual Timing Light.

Whatever customer service or product support requirement you have, you will always deal with HPA’s expert lighting service team.

Q) Is VTL only for Aged Care?

A) Absolutely Not!

Firstly, you can install Derungs Lights anywhere you want – at home, in offices, hotel rooms, cruise ships – you name it.  Remembering that any VTL enabled light is available as a standard switch product also.

Secondly, Derungs is part of the Waldmann Lighting Group therefore Hospital Products Australia (HPA) provides the complete range of Derungs & Waldmann Visual Timing Light solutions for Healthcare, Commercial Offices and Industrial projects.  More Waldmann products will be added to the HPA website in the near future.

Thirdly, HPA also provides the HT Group range of hospital Circadian Lighting products including HT Sky Ceiling, HT Cover & HT Healing Light all of which are designed for use in hospital patient and care wards where natural light is almost entirely absent.

Downloads and Links:

Brochures:HPA Derungs Visual Timing Light Brochure

HPA Derungs Lighting for Senior Care Brochure

Knowledge:HPA Derungs VTL Reference Report

Shedding Light on Luminaire Terminology

Light Planners – Lighting Data / BIM Models etc. 

Gallery:HPA Installations

Further resources can be found on the HPA website:

HPA Website – Lighting for Senior Care – Overview

HPA Website – Light Planning Recommendations for Aged Care Living

Contact HPA Today for further resources and advice – 1300 HPAUST /