Sustainable artificial lighting such as fluorescent and LED can surely help reduce your electricity bills and your impact on the planet but another very important advantage of living in a sustainable house is that it provides a healthy and pleasant environment for you and your family. We know that the use of natural materials and paints in your home can contribute to better health, but can artificial lighting also contribute to this?
Like many other species on earth we have bodies that have developed to function in a dark/light cycle environment. We are designed to be alert during the day and rest during the night. Our eyes can identify the visual effect of changing daylight from sunrise to sunset and also have receptors that communicate with your central body clock and activate and deactivate specific body functions and hormone releases according to changes in the lighting spectrum during a 24h period. This is called circadian rhythm and is very important that it works correctly every day so we keep healthy and productive.
Since we live in a very fast paced world and spend most of our time indoors with fixed colour and intensity of indoor lighting this rhythm is constantly disrupted, which causes many physical and mental health issues. This is aggravated in places further away from the equator where there is reduced availability of daylight, especially in winter when days are shorter. The use of artificial circadian lighting can help minimise this disruption.
Circadian lighting is energy efficient LED lighting that mimics daylight changing colour and intensity during a 24h period. It will create blue rich white light during the day keeping you alert, and red rich less intense light during the night creating a “biologic darkness” which will allow you to see well while indicating to your body that it is night time. This way, as long as you are not using blue light screen devices such as tablets, mobiles, computers and TVs, even if you are indoors after sunset your body will know it is night-time and execute the normal body functions for that period.
The use of circadian lighting can put your biological clock back on track and improve your health and wellbeing in many ways. Research has shown that it can improve your sleep, reduce stress, increase your energy levels, productivity and concentration, improve your mood and behaviour, among other benefits. It will help create a more sustainable you.
Circadian lighting is a relatively recent technology and there is still a lot of research going on to create new products and improve existing ones, to make them more affordable and widely available on the market. But you can already find a few options in the form of spotlights and lightbulbs that look just like the ones you already have in your home. Some lamps can be programed to change colour and intensity and others are available in morning (cool light) or night (warm light) versions. There are very few options for off the shelf products and you probably won’t be able to find these in your local shop but you can find them online. For bigger projects, for example if you are looking to change all light fixtures in your home or building a new home, there are more options available but you will need to request a quote from the supplier. We hope that circadian lighting products will be widely available in local shops soon.
It is important that your home is sustainable not only to reduce impact on the environment but also to increase your comfort, health and wellbeing. Circadian lighting can help you achieve that. Install circadian lighting around your home and Green it Yourself…Now!