THE HUMAN FACTOR IN LIGHTING DESIGN:


In this blog post, with the help of other scientific reports and studies published by prominent lighting magazines, we are aiming to define human centric lighting and its proven benefits.

Additionally, we will demonstrate how Colorbeam Lighting lighting solution can drive health benefits through Circadian Rhythm and human centric lighting applications while creating more productive, appealing, and dynamic spaces.

Note: Claiming that better lighting can 100% improve health is still a supposition as more studies and new discoveries are still being made. That said, it is not outlandish to state that carefully designed lighting can impact & aid circadian rhythm in human beings.

 

 

Lighting impacts our bodies & mind continually. Artificial light can be just as impactful as natural light. Extensive studies are showing that proper lighting solutions can greatly enhance our indoor lives. Optimal lighting can aid circadian rhythm, boost productivity, and provide a more visually pleasing experience.

 

The Human Body Clock or Circadian Rhythms

 Scientific Explanation

As the earth rotates, all species on the surface of the planet are exposed to 24-hour patterns of light and darkness. In response to natural light-dark cycle, all species have evolved endogenous circadian rhythms that repeat approximately every 24 hours.

CIRCADIAN-Clock2_transparent

Examples of circadian rhythms include oscillations in core body temperature, hormone secretion, sleep, and alertness. Circadian oscillations also exist at a cellular level, including cell mitosis and DNA damage response. These oscillations are a result of a small group of clock genes inside the cell nuclei creating interlocked transcriptional and post-translational feedback loops. The timing of these circadian clock genes is generally orchestrated by a master biological clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus of the brain.

The master clock in the SCN provides precise time cues throughout the body to regulate these diverse physiological, hormonal, and behavioral circadian patterns.

If the period of the light-dark pattern is too long or too short, or if the light and dark exposures become aperiodic, the master clock can lose control of the timing of peripheral circadian clocks [1].

 Lack of synchrony between the master clock and the peripheral clocks can lead to asynchronies within cells (e.g., cell cycle) and between organ systems (e.g., liver and pancreas). This breakdown in synchrony, is demonstrated most profoundly with jet lag, disrupts sleep, digestion, and alertness. In fact, the World Health Organization has identified rotating shift work as a probable cause of cancer. In addition to heightened cancer risks, other disorders have been associated with rotating-shift work, such as diabetes and obesity, suggesting again a role for circadian disruption in the development and progression of diseases [2].

Circadian_biology

 

What is Human-Centric Lighting?

Before we dive into discussing this topic, it is important to define human-centric lighting. The following definition by LightingEurope is the most thorough explanation we have found:

Human-Centric Lighting is “a type of lighting that can benefit the biological, emotional, health, or well-being of people.  It can be achieved by dimming smart light sources such as LED to mimic the levels of sunlight throughout the day.”

Extensive studies are showing that proper lighting can greatly enhance our indoor lives. In 2017 Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were awarded a Nobel prize for identifying the mechanisms that control our Circadian Rhythm and the role that lighting plays in triggering those mechanisms. Their work suggests, “when optimally synchronized to natural light, our internal timekeepers direct our bodies to feel hungry, sleepy, alert, or energized at appropriate times. Too little light from the blue end of the visible spectrum during the day, or too much of that same light at night, can cause an internal clock to slip off beat, setting off a cascade of potential consequences. These include not just poor sleep, reduced concentration, and contrarian moods, but over the long-term, increased risk of depression, diabetes, and cancer.”

Proponents of advanced lighting argue for broader adoption of new human-centric lighting technologies sooner rather than later. [3] Because, carefully designed lighting can aid circadian rhythms in human beings.

 
 
 

Effect of Light on Human Beings 

People in the developed world today spend, on average, 90% of the day indoors and often out of eyeshot of a window. Yet, most lighting turns out to be a poor proxy for daylight. The typical incandescent or fluorescent bulb, and even a standard non-tunable LED, may succeed in illuminating spaces, but they will frequently fail to inform our physiological pacemaker that it’s daytime. After the sun goes down, conventional lights — along with iPads, laptops, mobile phones, even certain streetlights — prevent the photoreceptor prompts needed for our clocks to properly wind down for bedtime. This is not consistent with circadian rhythms. Without regular and direct exposure to such dynamic lighting, the circadian rhythm can be disrupted, which could lead to health issues. [3]

Light and darkness control hormone production in our bodies. During the day, with a natural circadian rhythm, appropriate amounts of dopamine are secreted for alertness, pleasure, and muscle coordination; serotonin for impulse control and carbohydrate cravings; and cortisol for stress response. During the night, melatonin allows for sleep, and refreshes our body. [4]

circadian-clock-cover

The recent discovery of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) in our bodies, is found to be important in setting one’s internal clock. These cells are responsive to light that is rich in blue content, which can be up to 10,000K (resembling the mid-day sky). This is important when blue light content suppresses melatonin and encourages dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol production, meaning greater exposure to it during the day can lead people to be more alert and productive at work. [4]

 

Applications Human Centric Lighting 

We need the right light at the right place at the right time to support our activities 

Residential lighting_Color temperature5-3Colorbeam’s lighting solution relies on electronic light management system to create artificial lighting within buildings which can be synchronized with the human circadian rhythm. The distribution of light is adjusted to the different daylight conditions and specific requirements of individuals and spaces throughout the day.

AV-Lighting-1Human centric lighting systems leverages not only control dynamics, but also the combination of multiple directions, color temperatures, and illuminance.

Diverse positive effects of human centric lighting allow its usage along various dimensions of our everyday life.  It can be used in offices and our homes, in schools and retirement homes, for industrial and even recreational purposes. Its benefits can be brought into every household, hospital, or modern factory and work spaces. [5]

 

Conclusion

The importance of light, the intensity of light, the quality of light, and the controllability of light has never been more important than at the present.  We have no doubt that it will become even more important as the development of lighting products and controls advance even further.

Find out how Colorbeam’s patented GATEway processor drives innovation in human centric lighting applications, controllability and tunability of light, setting scenes, and flicker free flawless dimming.

Contact Colorbeam Lighting Today



Sources:

[1] Hammond Philip, Human-Centric Lighting: Part 1, EE Publishers’ Vector Magazine, 2017

[2] Erren TC, Falaturi P, Morfeld P, Knauth P, Reiter RJ, Piekarski C. Shift work and cancer: the evidence and the challenge. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010;107(38):657–662. 

[3] Peeples Lynne, Age of Enlightenment: The Promise of Circadian Lighting, UNDARK Magazine, 05.21.2018: 

[4] Walerczyk Stan, CLEP, LC, Principal, Lighting Wizards, Human

Centric Lighting, Architectural SSL, 06.2012, 

[5] Kearney A.T. Human Centric Lighting: Going Beyond Energy Efficiency, LightingEurope German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI)

 

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