Bringing smiles

to a children’s hospital

Ronald McDonald VU,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Find out how LED hospital lighting is cheering up sick children at Ronald McDonald VU.


The tunnel
never fails

to be an experience for children and their parents. It makes children enormously happy.”


- Marijke Peer, Governor of the Ronald McDonald VU Kinderstad


Customer challenge


The VU medical centre in Amsterdam knows how to care for kids. To provide young patients with a welcome distraction from their ailments, it built a dedicated play area in the hospital, called the Ronald McDonald VU Kinderstad. Could light help the children to forget their illness?

The right lighting 

The Kinderstad is like a small, fun city for kids. It features a small football pitch, a race car, a radio studio, a computer and TV corner, and a place to spot aeroplanes. Philips was brought in to add some exciting light to the Kinderstad.

To ease the transition from the clinical environment to the fun world of Kinderstad, a light tunnel with special colourful illumination was designed. Children love walking through the tunnel on their way into Kinderstad. It tunnel is seven metres long, and wide enough for a bed to pass through. This meant that the light had to be bright enough to be seen if the child was lying down, but not so intense as to cause problems for children with epilepsy.

After various trial installations, VidiWall DPIX 600 was chosen as a light source. This is net of evenly distributed RGB LED pixels makes it possible to display enjoyable hospital lighting effects, and computer controlled images. For the best light effects, 1,722 LED pixels were placed 15 centimetres apart behind a translucent white plastic wall, giving the saturated colors a beautifully diffuse appearance. With the VidiWall video processor, the tunnel is transformed to a green-red rainbow, but raindrops or swaying grass can also be displayed.

The newly lit tunnel enchants and excites children, helping to distract them from the clinical environment. The beautiful changing colours tend to have a calming effect upon mentally disabled patients, particularly if they are rolled through on a bed or in a wheelchair.

Vidiwall DPIX 600

Create and control your environment with light. These versatile LEDs can be computer controlled for exciting visual effects.

Comforting kids 
with light

The Team

VU Medical center


Sponge Architects




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