Maximize sunlight & supplement it with LED lighting.
It’s a fact — everyone loves to get out into the sun every once and a while. And as the weather continues to warm, we find staying inside harder than ever. But what if you could make the lighting in your office possess some of the health and feel-good benefits of sunlight? You can, with high-CRI LED Lighting and by designing a floor plan to include several sunroofs.
According to studies published in Lighting Research & Technology and Energy and Buildings, spaces featuring daylight-sensing controls can reduce the energy used for electric lights by 20–60 percent when utilized correctly.
But, natural lighting has more benefits than just conserving energy. According to Architectural Lighting Magazine, daylighting offers many aesthetic and health benefits, including increasing occupant productivity and comfort while providing the stimulation needed to regulate human circadian rhythms – or the internal body clock. According to Psychology Today, those who are exposed to natural light during work hours sleep an average of 46 minutes more per night than those who do not.
It’s well-known that LED bulbs boast long lifespans and consume less power than incandescent bulbs — sometimes as much as 90 percent less. And while LED bulbs come in a variety of brightness levels, including a daylight variation, multiple studies have shown natural light improves the mood and productivity amongst employees and high (90+) CRI LED Lighting with color temperatures ranging from 5200K – 6400K is the closest artificial lighting can come to natural sunlight.
The Similarities Between LEDs and Sunlight
Believe it or not, LED lights have a lot in common with sunlight. LEDs can mimic the hue and intensity of natural sunlight and help to maintain the human body’s natural circadian rhythm. This is because LED components allow for finer adjustments of color, brightness and intensity.
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, some homes are being equipped with LED lighting that automatically mimics sunlight by changing from soft, warm amber in the morning to bright, cool white during the day and then back to amber in the evening. Researchers said this helps counteract the disruptive effect of conventional artificial lighting on the body’s circadian rhythms.
To execute daylighting correctly, excessive glare and temperature increases due to solar heat gain must be taken into consideration. Both of these factors can be detrimental to occupants if not handled correctly. Installing automated shades or dynamic glazing, which automatically tints to maximize natural light while reducing heat and glare, can curb these issues.
Want happier, more productive workers? Consider incorporating natural lighting or LED Lighting into your next office makeover.
Katie is an LA-based writer who's covered everything from fashion startups to jazz legends, philanthropic NHL players and now design and architectural LED lighting. She is the former editor of a music trade magazine, enjoys writing about indie businesses and strongly believes that Edison bulbs complete all design projects. Katie can be reached at [email protected]
The term Architectural Lighting encompasses three main factors. The first is the building’s aesthetic, which is crucial for any commercial, especially retail, environment. The second consideration is ergonomic or functional — any aspect which improves one’s ability to live, work, function, relax or play — to make the space easier to use. The third aspect involves the efficiency of energy, ensuring that light is properly, which is to say economically or optimally, used and distributed.
Our relation to light as humans is complex. Though many of the effects of light on our biology are still unknown, there are several we know and understand. Light also plays a major role in regulating human biological responses, including our internal body clock or circadian rhythm.
Talieh Ghane researches the interaction between light and health at the California Lighting Technology Center. We talked about the biological vs. visual system of light, how to synchronize your circadian clock for better health, how light is like a drug, and why you shouldn’t be on your phone right before bed (guilty).
A color rendering index (CRI) is a quantitative metric of the ability of an artificial light source (i.e. LED, Fluorescent, Halogen, Incandescent, etc.) to accurately reveal the colors of a subject in comparison to a natural light source. A CRI of 90 means that the artificial light source is replicating roughly 90% of the visible color spectrum that the sun would produce on the same color.