The last few years have seen drastic changes in the lighting industry, where people have moved from traditional fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. Controlled lighting and energy savings have been the driving factors towards LEDs. However, the change train is still rolling with the adoption of human centric lighting.
· What is Human Centric Lighting?
LightEurope defines human centric lighting, abbreviated as HCL, as modified light that is specifically designed to benefit the emotional, health, biological, and wellbeing of people. To achieve such targets, LED light is dimmed to mimic light from the sun throughout the day.
Therefore, human centric lighting is a lighting trend that is focused on eliminating the artificial aspects of light and incorporating natural aspects. The idea behind human centric lighting is that human beings conform to natural light and as such, human-made light must be modified to adhere to the natural aspects.
It can be concluded that human centric lighting is a lighting system and design that is sensitive to human needs and desires. By producing a pleasing effect, the light is improving or maintaining human wellbeing.
· How can human centric lighting help people?
Any innovation is implemented to have a positive impact on the lives of people. Therefore, human centric lighting has some benefits that are directly enjoyed by the users of such lights.
One of the new and interesting uses of human centric lighting is on airplanes. People traveling internationally can significantly benefit from HCL. In most cases, people in the airplane experience jetlag, which is a condition associated with loss or addition of few hours thereby disrupting body clock. Human centric lighting is used in airplane to solve these problem.
The issue of saving energy and sustainability also comes into play when using human centric lighting. Dimming helps in saving energy and thereby reducing carbon footprint. Saving energy lowers monthly electrical bills while the reduction in carbon footprint is useful to the environment.
Human centric lighting has become a major feature in various schools around the world. Use of dim and cooler lights encourages relaxation of the students, which increases concentration. Dimmer and warmer lights are used during nap periods, especially in baby-care facilities.
Although there are several areas where people can benefit from human centric lighting, most of the benefits are highly associated with human wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to discuss the health benefits of human centric lighting.
What are the health benefits of human centric lighting?
1. Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythms have everything to do with behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a daily cycle. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is one of the major examples of circadian rhythms. People, physiologically, respond to light and darkness. All living thing, plants, and animals respond to circadian rhythms.
So, what does human centric lighting has to do with circadian rhythms? Natural light changes with medium-light in the morning, intensive light during the day, and dimming light in the evening. The body is prepared for emerging darkness and light since the beginning of life.
Spending all day at constant light disrupts circadian rhythms and has consistently been associated with poor sleeping habits. People spending long hours in offices and watching televisions are finding it hard to sleep. However, human centric lighting can mimic natural light hence improving sleep among individuals, especially in hospitals and nursing homes.
2. Mood Setting
The mood of a person is not only affected by how well they are doing in life but also in the settings. Over the last few years, there have been significant achievements in studies related to impacts of light on people’s moods. It has also been concluded that nature scenes, especially in medical settings, makes patients less nervous.
A known intensity of light depicts natural settings at a given time of day. Therefore, light has to be adjusted to adhere to the natural light outside. Offices are not enhancing the mood of their employees through light adjustments. With a morning setting, employees work hard for the day. It is the nature of human beings to work hard or to be committed to the tasks in the morning.
Dimming light in the evening eliminates boredom and brings about freshness. With constant artificial light throughout the day, there is a high chance that the mood of various employees will be significantly affected.
3. Improved Productivity
Everything in the workplace is tailor-made to improve the performance of employees. Initially, employers had been focusing on sufficient lighting as a way of helping them focus on their tasks and minimize workplace injuries.
However, studies have shown that using human centric lighting in offices helps workers to concentrate on their tasks during the day hence increasing production. Dimming lights and altering the mood of the office improves workers bottom line while at the same time increasing productivity.
Human centric lighting has indirect impacts on productivity. Dimming brings about natural settings which have positive impacts on circadian rhythms. Individuals who have enough sleep are known to be productive during the day as they exhibit natural and expected physiological characteristics. Reduced sick days mean that employees are also spending much of their time in the workplace.
4. Visual Acuity
Visual acuity has everything to do with how an individual sees images. The sharpness of various objects is specifically dependent on neural factors and optical. Of all the factors that affect the sharpness and clarity of the objects such as temperature and color, lighting, perhaps has everything to do with visual acuity.
Natural light is designed to help people have a clear vision of all the objects. The changes in the intensity of natural light do not have impacts the clarity of the images because the retina and optical periodically adjust. However, the intensity of artificial light does not change, which has significantly affected the way people see various objects.
Recent studies show that human centric lighting increases the sharpness of retina and ultimately, the clarity of objects. Adjusting the intensity of light periodically coincides with circadian rhythms making it possible for people to maintain the same clarity throughout the day.
5. Human Centric Lighting and Dementia
It is common knowledge that many people lose the ability to perform daily tasks as they age. Light is a major aspect in the life of an aged person. When dementia occurs, extreme problems manifest especially tunnel vision, right-sided vision, and failing peripheral vision.
In extreme cases, circadian rhythms and general body clock can be significantly affected. Some people produce melatonin in the morning and late afternoon rather than when they should be sleeping. This results in anxiety, agitation, and sleep disruption.
Human centric lighting is currently being used to help people with dementia to have a comfortable life. Blue-rich and high-intensity light helps to reset the body clock. Most of the people with this condition can distinguish day and night.
· Is Human Centric Lighting the Future Trend of Lighting?
The LED lighting and other energy-saving metrics have been brought into play in the lighting industry. Sufficient lighting and saving on energy has played a vital role in saving energy bills and providing sufficient lighting.
Although saving money and providing sufficient lighting remains an important issue, the focus has significantly shifted to health. The development of lighting and lighting products is giving much attention to the health of the users.
Productivity, sleep disruption, and workplace safety is paramount to workplace lighting. People need sufficient light so that they can easily pay attention to their work throughout the day. However, a constant supply of light that does not change has significant impacts on productivity.
More importantly, health is a major issue of concern, especially when it comes to sleep disruption. According to the United Kingdom National Health Service, 2017, lighting associated sleep disruption contributes to more than 70% of diseases such as dyslexia, autism, anxiety, low concentration levels, and rise in obesity.
Human centric lighting has brought about great relieve in the workplace and the normal circadian rhythms. A considerable number of people with dementia have been able to adjust their body clock and live a normal life.
With increased incorporation of regulated and controlled dimming in schools, hospital facilities, public transportation, sports, and fire stations, and the fact that dimming plays a critical role in the health of human beings, it is clear that human centric lighting is the future trend of lighting.
· Can Yufeng Lighting Help You in Human Centric Lighting Design?
Are you looking for a partner to help you with human centric lighting?
Yufeng Lighting Limited uses the most recent studies on brain science to come up with lighting designs that address the recent changes in lighting, especially towards the circadian rhythm.
Your main benefits of using Yufeng Lighting for human centric lighting include;
Wellness: Your employees will establish a healthy circadian rhythm allowing them to be alert during the day as they work and sleep at night.
Energy Savings: Besides paying huge attention to the normal operations of your employees, our HCL-designed lights will save your energy by a 60-75%.
Total solution: Contact our staff to listen to your requirements and we will offer total solution&proessional services for your project needs.