For years, artificial lighting has fruitlessly attempted to imitate the glow and vitality of natural light. Yet today, LED technologies that more faithfully reproduce the spectrum of natural light, like the Nature range by Lluria, are a powerful tool for the design of spaces that are in harmony with the sunlight; places that are more respectful of the human circadian system and that focus on the people’s wellbeing.
What is circadian lighting?
Circadian lighting is a type of lighting that regulates artificial light in keeping with people’s needs for health and wellbeing, by respecting the cycles of human biology and minimising the negative effects of electric light on our biological clocks.
Our brains receive visual signals through the eyes, telling us when it is day and when it is night. In response to those signals, the brain then controls the amount of melatonin that is released, generating sleepiness when it is dark and a state of alertness when it is light. The circadian rhythm is basically the internal clock that is generated in each individual based on these signals. Light affects our visual and non-visual systems and scientists have discovered that certain blue wavelengths emitted by artificial light sources can alter people’s circadian rhythms.
The ideal light
To respond to the demands for human centric lighting, Lluria has created the Nature model LED strip, which was developed in accordance with the guidelines of the IES TM-30-18 method. This method more precisely measures and evaluates the properties of light sources, enabling them to be adjusted to the closest parameters of natural light. In LED Nature, the fidelity index (Rf), is Rf>95; and the colour rendering index (Rg), is _> 100. Characteristics that display an excellent quality of light and allow us to bring the benefits of solar light to indoor spaces.
The three tools of human centric lighting
There are three indispensable tools for the design of circadian lighting in indoor spaces: regulating the intensity; controlling the colour temperature; and adjusting visual stimuli.
Regulating the intensity of light is the most common solution, where the sources of light maintain a specific temperature colour (TC) while the intensity of the light is regulated in keeping with the time of day, starting with a lower intensity early in the morning, increasing as the day progresses and decreasing from sunset onwards.
Colour temperature control makes it possible to imitate the natural variance of the light during the day and night cycle, with cooler colour temperatures when the sun is highest in the sky and warmer temperatures when people go to sleep or wake up. This is usually regulated along with the intensity of the light.
Adjusting the visual stimuli is a more advanced adjustment. It is achieved by using LEDs with a spectral composition more similar to that of natural light, such as the LED Nature, enabling a closer imitation of daylight, while controlling both the fidelity of the light and the reduction of blue wavelengths, when combined with the two tools described above.
Applications and benefits
Certainly, one of the sectors with the greatest interest in these new technologies is the medical sector, where healthy lighting can afford major advances in the quality of life of everyone, patients and medical staff alike.
Yet there is also great potential in other more commercial sectors, as well as in everyday life:
The regulation of light intensity in offices and colour temperature control in schools has been common practice for decades. In addition to advocating natural lighting, the WELL certification system, which promotes standards of health and wellbeing in indoor spaces, moreover advocates quality artificial lighting and respect for the circadian rhythms.
LED Nature strips improve the perception of colours and visual precision, making them ideal in shop spaces, where the faithful reproduction of colours and materials is essential. At Lluria, we know that each brand has very specific needs in terms of product image and display, making the ability to calibrate intensity, colour temperature and light spectrum fundamental in order to respond to each person’s specific demands.
Spaces created for physical and emotional wellbeing:
Spas, gyms, and health and beauty centres are increasingly opting for circadian lighting systems to enhance the benefits of treatments, while inducing better relaxation or greater toning, depending on each individual’s needs and preferences.
Homes that lack natural lighting:
Generally speaking, in places where there is not enough natural lighting, it is extremely important to work with light sources that can simulate it, both to take the place of its total lack or to complement any existing natural light. When combined with a suitable lighting design, there is an optimisation of both the distribution of light in the space and its integration into the architecture.
The future of circadian lighting
Many studies conducted at schools, hospitals and offices show the success of circadian lighting systems when it comes to increasing people’s alertness and improving their wellbeing. There is a difference between the use of light’s colour spectrum to alter the circadian rhythms and its use to support it. The Nature range is a highly valuable tool in lighting designs that bear in mind not only the spectral composition of light, but also its distribution in the space, its visual impact and its emotional and physiological contribution to people’s needs.
Contact us at email@example.com and make an appointment to check the effects of the Nature range in our Lluria Xperience laboratory.