An insight into OT lights

OT lights are the most prominent aid parallel with the surgical equipments for medical practitioners. They are used by clinicians, surgeons and proceduralists in emergency rooms, labor and delivery, examination room, etc. OT light is a medical device intended to illuminate a local area or cavity of the patient to assist medical practitioners during a surgical procedure. It is very essential to provide an excellent source of light during various medical procedures like dental treatment, surgery, examination rooms etc. Hence, they must be designed in a favorable manner as it is extremely critical for staff comfort and patient’s safety.

Types Of OT Lights

OT lights can be categorized by lamp type or mounting configuration. Two lamp types are conventional (halogen) and LED (light emitting diode).
OT lighting configurations may include ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or on floor stand

  • Shadow-Less OT Lights
  • OT Light without Camera
  • OT Light with Camera

Problems Associated with OT lights

  • Surgeons experience eyestrain and light load on operating continuously for long hours
  • Heating of LED
  • Blocking of lights
  • Breakage of wire inside the equipment
  • Failure of slip ring, fuse, lamp or insulation
  • Failure of electronic devices
  • Power supply cable detachment

Because surgical lighting is complex, sophisticated and often customized for an operating room an efficient illumination needs adequate balance of luminance, temperature, weight and shadow management. Considering these factors will effectively reduce errors and minimize eye fatigue, a main factor in performing successful and safe procedures.

Factors in selecting OT Lights

  • Lux: Unit for the amount of visible light measured by a luxmeter at a certain point.
  • Central illuminance (Ec): Illuminance (measured in lux) at 1m distance from the light emitting surface in the light field center.
  • Light field center : Point in the light field (lighted area) where illuminance reaches maximum lux intensity. It is the reference point for most measurements.
  • Depth of illumination: The distance between the points of 20% illumination intensity above and below the center point. Successful illumination requires a special balance of luminance, shadow management, volume, and temperature. This maximizes visibility at the surgical site while minimizing eye fatigue
  • Shadow dilution: The light’s ability to minimize the effect of obstructions.
  • Light field diameter
  • (D10): Diameter of light field around the light field center, ending where the illuminance reaches 10% of Ec. The value reported is the average of four different cross sections through the light field center.
  • D50: Diameter of light field around the light field center, ending where the illuminance reaches 50% of Ec. The value reported is the average of four different cross sections through the light field center.
  • Power : 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Heat Management: Light will be always energy so in order to prevent from tissue desiccation, a safe heat management is mandatory. Heat can be measured in two places: at the light patch, and at the light head. Heat can cause discomfort for the surgeon, and can dry exposed patient tissue. A quality surgical light will minimize heat to improve comfort and patient outcomes.


Operating Theaters are changing as technological advances expand the possibilities of what can be achieved within the sterile environment. The working environment for medical staff such as doctors and nurses must be considered from the viewpoint of human engineering. Modular operation theater is a designing approach using standardized units for easy construction and flexible arrangement.

The pre-engineered Modular OT not only solves the problem of infections but also facilitates speedy construction, high quality finish in prevention of contamination build up, long durability, robust, flexible designs for future expansion and ease of maintenance. The other advantages of applying concepts of Modular Operation Theatre during construction are:

  • Improved Health and Safety
  • Minimal Site Disruption- Lesser disruption and noise is produced in comparison with traditional methods of Operation Theater construction
  • No Compromise on quality- None of the compromise associated with bouncy floors, cavities, sharp edges and others
  • Highly customizable- no restrictions regarding layout, internal appearance and external treatments
  • Sustainability- These are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and delivers a rust and maintenance free system with longer service life
  • Designing and development based on International Health care / Medical Solutions- It is fabricated using material sourced from across the globe helping to reduce project costs, carbon footprint and helping the economy
A typical Modular OT

This modular operating room adapts to fit whatever space might be available; it is equally suited for new construction and for rebuilding and expansion projects. The system is cost effective in the long run, and that has a significant economic impact for hospitals over the long run. Examples of this sustainability include flexibility, time saving and confidence for investments

Although the installation and maintenance of a Modular OT is easy and simple there are however a few critical factors to be considered before selecting a Modular OT:

  • The possibility of future expansion should be kept in mind while designing the Modular OT
  • It should be isolated from traffic, noisy areas and away from contamination and cross infection
  • The AHU of each OT should be a dedicated one and should not be linked to an air conditioning of any other area
  • Laminar flow of conditioned air should be within 19-21℃ with 0.3 micron HEPA filter
  • Window and split AC should not be used in any type of OT because they are pure re circulating units and have convenient pockets for microbial growth which cannot be sealed
  • The materials that can be used for the wall and ceiling panel of Modular Operation Theater are:
  1. 1.6mm thick EGP steel panels backed by 12mm thick Gypsum
  2. Stainless steel SS202 or SS304 panels
  3. High-pressure Laminate panels as per EN standard
  4. PUF sandwiched panel
    The above materials can be used as per the client’s requirements

What does the future of Modular OT hold?
With new technology coming in so fast, advancement of Modular OT is already on its way. The new concept preferred by healthcare professionals, architects and designers is Glass Modular OT.

There is no material that is older and has a brighter future than glass

The material glass is known for already 9,000 years but especially today belongs to the most modern solutions for customers who emphasize hygiene, safety and design. There are nearly no limits neither in processing nor in design.

In Healthcare, architects, designers and planners of OTs as well as surgeons and other medical staff need a material to rely on completely. Glass is such a material

Why Glass?

  • Extremely tough, steady and functional
  • Does not age
  • Easy to clean
  • Absolutely hygienic  
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Scratch and shock proof
  • Translucent

Design considerations for an Operation Theater

An Operating Theater is a facility within a hospital where surgical operations are carried out in an aseptic environment. Being one of the biggest and busiest departments within a hospital, it thus makes it one of the most critical departments as well.

Inside a modern operating room

Critical factors to be considered while designing an OT:

  • Location
    • The best location for the surgical department is one which permits a convenient and uncomplicated flow of patients, staff and clean supplies traffic.
    • The OT should be located that there will be no traffic through it and no interference from the activities of other departments.
    •  Regarding services, ideal adjacencies would be emergency, radiology, clinical laboratories, intensive care units and central sterile and supply department.
  • Design
    • Just as important as the determination of the number and types of operating rooms is the planning of the three basic zones with the OT
    • Three types of activities and circulation take place in these zones and the degree of sterility maintained in each zone is different:
      • Outer zone is the clean area
      • Intermediate zone is the sub-sterile area
      • Outer zone is the administrative area
  • Most Efficient and Cost-Effective OT
    • That doesn’t have a separate anesthetic room
    • That has shared scrub facilities between operating rooms
    • That has a common disposal bay
    • That has central supplies room to service several operating rooms
    • That has a supply distribution system in which case carts are made available to each operating room
    • Where disposal traffic line is segregated from the patient, staff and clean supply traffic line

Design Features for OT

While planning and equipping each operating room, a series of questions need to be answered. They relate to size, usage, lighting, intercommunication and signal systems, electronic equipment and monitoring system, medical gas system and other service lines, fixtures, safety precautions such as grounding for X-Ray, TV camera and against static electricity, storage, supply cabinets, environmental control, etc.

Some of the critical factors that should be considered while designing an Operation Theatre are:

  • Total room size
  • Best placement of lights, cameras, monitors, and the AV equipment
  • Ceiling structures
  • Articulating display arms
  • Equipment booms should be designed to allow for added capabilities in the future

Additional space is required for the infrastructure and electronics to support the components outside the OT.

Hybrid OT

Future of OTs:

Future Operating Theaters will include the latest in operating room design, imaging capability, equipment integration and patient monitoring, including technologies such as:

  • Intelligent lighting system operated through the surgeon’s wand
  • Diagnostic imaging equipment that provides real-time information during surgery
  • Computer-controlled, motorized combination operating room table and ICU bed
  • Robotic cross-cleaning systems with biocidal misting
  • Flat panel monitors outside the surgical zone to check patient vital statistics and diagnostic images


In the current scenario of evidence based medicine, it is imperative to give maximum importance to planning an Operation Theatre. Within the limitations of finance and space, the best results can be obtained by consulting healthcare professionals. Efforts should be made to conform to the standards laid down by local bodies and international agencies, as healthcare facilities in India are now catering to more international patients.