Circadian Rhythm Lighting: An introduction
As lighting technology steadily improves, human health is starting to become more of a topic in regards to how light affects our Circadian Rhythms. Many people work in the corporate world where they work most of their days inside with artificial light. If you take a step back and think for just one second about these conditions, you will realize that it is unnatural. Human beings are meant to be outside, breathing fresh air and soaking up the sun’s rays. Absorbing natural sunlight through the skin is very beneficial to our health.
The definition provided by a Google search on Circadian Rhythm is as follows: “a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. In a strict sense, circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, although they can be modulated by external cues such as sunlight and temperature”.
I believe that the closer we are to nature the happier and healthier we will be. So how can we bring nature closer to our working environments through lighting? By mimicking the position, angle, and colour of the sun, we can install lighting systems that does just that.
LED lighting technology now offers fixtures that can be programmed to induce the feeling of the sun’s natural rays. For example, in the morning, the Circadian Light fixture will be programmed to a low intensity, yellowish orange to match how the sun looks like first thing in the morning. As the day moves toward noon the fixtures light output gets more intense and colour turns to a white/blue. During noon is the time when people are usually most alert and productive. As the day begins to wind down, so does the light as it slowly drops its intensity and the colour gradually reaches orange and yellow to mimic sun set.
There are companies now that have circadian rhythm lighting and have been studying the effects it has on school children and in 24hr work settings like in hospitals. One manufacturer is Walalight they are based in the USA.
It will be interesting to see how circadian lighting will improve human health as more studies take place. InnovaLED will also be promoting this slowly emerging technology. Lighting isn’t just about energy and aesthetics anymore, human health is also becoming a large factor into how and what type of light we choose to install.
Article Written By: Bill Leuang (Owner of InnovaLED)