Lighting – It’s in our Nature

Our circadian rhythms, the periodic biological rhythms that amongst other things tell us when to wake up and when to go to bed, were originally entrained by sunlight. In today’s industrialized society, however, most people spend the bulk of their time indoors with man-made lighting that stays the same throughout the entire day, forgoing regular exposure to the sun. As a result, in many cases our biological clocks have been re-wound to our own interpretation of when we think we should wake up and when we should sleep–our bodies are awake, but we are in circadian darkness. Disrupted, unnatural rhythms can have massive long-term consequences to the mental and physical health of the human body including obesity, diabetes, depression, sleep disorders, performance and more. Fortunately, today’s lighting industry has noticed these problems and developed a solution: replicating the natural light cycle with our interior lighting. LED lights were just a start to creating a healthier lighting environment, new products such as Color Select are taking LED lights with the widest range of tunable white light color temperature available and allowing them to be independently adjusted. This covers the full range of light you would see in natural day time. Taking this even farther, this lighting system can be programed to change color automatically, allowing individuals to receive all the benefits of natural daylight without putting in any effort. NASA is even using this technology to thwart insomnia in space; installing color changing LED lights that will simulate nature by appearing blue in the morning, white during the day, and red in the evening. As bodies become more adjusted to receiving the temperatures of everyday lighting they are able to get back into their natural circadian rhythms, allowing for more energetic days and more restorative nights.

by Amanda Fenton

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