Examination lamps under the spotlight

The right source of light is crucial for a GP in the practice. Our three GPs review some of the best

Anyone who has taken smears, fitted IUDs or carried out minor surgery in general practice knows the importance of a good light source.

A floor lamp can illuminate a wide range of procedures, but it is essential to be able to direct the light where it is needed.

So which lamp should you choose? We have put together this comparison, based on past reviews in GP, to help provide you with the information you need to make your decision.

WMS 35W mobile exam light
By Dr Gio Caranci, a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire 

With an overall height of about 170cm, the light is not too imposing for even the smallest treatment room. The body is made of wipe-clean, ivory white plastic coating, with a chrome-plated steel flexing neck area.

The wheeled base gives the light good mobility and, with just under 3m of flex, you can easily move around the examination couch without having to find alternative electrical sockets.

The halogen bulb is protected by a clear lens, but the unit is not waterproof, so care must be taken when cleaning spillages or stains.

In day-to-day use, it provides excellent levels of illumination without becoming too hot.

The price is also reasonable for this level of lighting.

It appears robust enough to cope with the rough and tumble of most treatment rooms.

If you are looking for mobile lighting for a consulting room or treatment room, then this model should be considered.

It is very mobile, sufficiently light to be portable and yet able to provide an excellent level of illumination.

Welch Allyn LS150 examination lamp and floor stand
By Dr Nigel Stollery, a GP in Kibworth, Leicester 

Once assembled, the lamp was about 155cm high, with a bright, white finish. It looks sterile and clean, perfect to allay the fears of those nervous about infections.

The base is heavy, but the castors are well positioned. For those worried about knocking the lamp and moving its position, the base can be lifted out of the castor assembly to stand on the floor.

The bottom half of the vertical stand arm is fixed, but the top half is flexible, allowing the lamp to be moved to virtually any position.

This lamp was perfectly adequate for all my minor surgery, IUD fitting and smear taking requirements and was also used without complaint by the practice nurses for smear taking and dressings.

The lamp was bright and practical, the unit sturdy and well made.

Brandon Coolview XM Iris Mobile
By Dr Bryan Palmer, a GP in Fareham, Hampshire 

The Coolview’s arm radius is 65cm, which does not sound much, but is quite a stretch and is more than adequate around an examination couch.

The lamp also has a vertical movement of 120cm, which allowed it to work well in minor surgery and when looking for that elusive cervix.

But what budding surgeons and smear takers are really interested in is the light intensity — and the Coolview packs a punch in this department, with 45,000 lux at 0.8m and 30,000 lux at 1m.

This lamp uses colour correction to match natural daylight, reducing eye strain in prolonged use.

It seemed to be a success. I would have had some difficulty prising it away from our main smear taker, or partners doing minor surgery.

I suspect it may appear on our next wish list for equipment, so I guess that is a big thumbs up for the Coolview XM lamp.

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