Lighting is funny. Even when we’re not paying attention to it at all, it affects our mood, health and well-being. Take for instance, observation of Daylight Saving Time, which takes place in 70 countries worldwide. People who suddenly lose an hour of sleep are affected, sometimes subtly, with temporary grogginess, but sometimes seriously, with precipitated health events such as heart attacks and severe depression. Shining a light on a simple remedy is Willem Sillevis-Smitt, engineer at Lumileds who sees more and more lighting designs embracing human centric lighting. While the concept of human centric lighting—tailoring lighting to mimic natural sunlight and our needs for it—isn’t new, having affordable, simple methods to implement it at home is, indeed, a new development.
While energy savings and bulb lifetime initially drove LED adoption, we are now beginning to realize the substantial benefits to human well-being that result from the ability to precisely control the lighting in our lives. When it comes to the lost hour in the specific case of Daylight Savings, Sillevis-Smitt offers several tips. “Using the proper light, we can ease the transition by switching to warmer color temperatures and dimming lights earlier in the evening. We can ease into an earlier bedtime and make up for the loss.” Smart lighting, which marries tunable LEDs with proper controls, enables “dim to warm,” a comforting transition to a warmer candlelight color as the light diminishes. Sillevis-Smitt also suggests limiting the use of computers and smart phones later in the evening, as the stimulation from the mental activity and cool light from the screens is not conducive to winding down. Conversely, in the morning when we want to be alert and inspired, we can surround ourselves with a cooler daylight spectrum (when not naturally available), which is programmed to follow our natural biorhythm through the course of the day—an attractive option for homes, schools and workplaces.
“Ultimately, the goal is improving health and happiness by better tuning the light we control to complement the light that comes through our windows,” said Sillevis-Smitt. Human centric lighting is often called the next wave in architectural lighting design. But it’s not just a fad. In hospitals, workplaces, schools and homes, researchers are documenting when and how tunable light is meeting the needs of the people inside. “We are early in our understanding of the interplay between light and something as complex as health, for instance, but we’re definitely on our way,” said Sillevis-Smitt.
To learn more about how Lumileds LUXEON LEDs can help you adjust to Daylight Saving Time, read the full article here.