WHAT’S ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT HUMAN-CENTRIC LIGHTING?
Human-Centric Lighting (HCL) refers to a lighting system which benefits human health and well-being. It is the practice of creating lighting that mimics the natural daylight that drives our everyday bodily functions. HCL is achieved via tunable fixtures, which are easy to adjust to simulate various temperatures of sunlight.
Put plainly, HCL creates a natural lighting atmosphere in an indoor setting, and living with human-centric lighting means that our circadian rhythms can exist as they would if we were living in the great outdoors. Developing research indicates that humans prefer to exist in a space where natural lighting is of great consideration.
But, what is a Circadian Rhythm, and why is it important?
Circadian Rhythms are our natural physical, mental, and behavioral changes which follow a 24-hour cycle, informed greatly by the environment’s lightness or darkness.
Emerging research indicates that improper exposure to light can disrupt the circadian rhythm and lead to an increased risk of developing sleep disorders, depression, poor eating habits, and various diseases. However, if one uses light to create a stable circadian rhythm, one may see an improvement in overall mental and physical wellbeing.
In the natural world, light has the lowest Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) in early morning hours, and is highest in the afternoon. CCT, which is expressed in Kelvin temperature units (K), describes how yellow or blue a light appears. For example, the setting sun is around 2300K while a cloudy sky might be around 7500K. These changing temperatures greatly affect the circadian rhythm.
Standard artificial light is static. Unmoving. Unfortunately, more and more hours of our lives are spent beneath these blinding bulbs, unknowingly promoting unhealthy stress responses and unnatural dips in productivity. Humans need the right light color and intensity at the correct time of day to live life optimally. Light signals our bodies to feel and behave in certain ways, and many homeowners are becoming aware of this fact, believing that a connectedness to nature is important in their home design. Within the past year, we’ve found that our clients increasingly desire to create a wellness retreat within their homes, an escape from the hustle & bustle of everyday busyness. Our architect and design partners are actively working to increase the natural light within a space, and HCL solutions aim to extend the benefits of this lighting internally throughout the entire structure.
One of our favorite systems utilizing the latest and greatest in HCL technology is Lutron’s Ketra. Ketra provides the flexibility to match any mood or time of day. They recognize that light not only changes the look of the day, but also affects the way you feel. This is why they offer beautifully-crafted lights which will saturate any given space in the widest range of whites and colors available anywhere.
Ketra’s Dynamic Spectrum lets the user calibrate the perfect light for every moment, whether you’re observing the natural rhythm of daylight, turning up the whites to increase productivity, or dialing up the vibrancy to make vivid colors pop. With other LED systems, colors can fade over time– or clash if diodes are sourced from various manufacturers. Ketra’s Color Lock solution aligns color points over each light source, maintaining accurate, dynamic hues for the life of the light. We at System Integrators especially love Ketra’s seamless integration with Lutron’s deluxe lighting controls and shades which work to create influential and customized smart spaces. The press of one button can truly transform a space to set the ideal atmosphere for any activity or mood.
System Integrators would love to show you this incredible system in person in our Williston showroom. Call or email us to schedule a demonstration!