While many perceive indoor lighting to simply provide illumination, the truth is that indoor lighting plays a more significant role, particularly during dark seasonal months when the sun gets low long before we leave the office.
Lighting is more than just an aesthetic preference. With most of us spending the majority of our day indoors, lighting can have a considerable impact on health.
During dark winter months when daylight comes in limited supply, lighting can make or break your mood, productivity, and health. Good lighting has been shown to provide a whole host of benefits.
To make the most of indoor lighting, the right lighting decisions must be used. The steadfast march of technology has given consumers new lighting technology that provides more than simple illumination. One of these technological advances is smart lighting.
Smart Lighting Explained
A recent trend in lighting technology, smart lighting gives users complete control over lighting decisions.
Smart lighting works as part of a smart home automation system. Simply put, smart lighting uses LED light bulbs and LED light fittings that are controllable through your smartphone, tablet, or home automation hub.
While smart lighting is often referred to as part of a home automation system, it can also work in an office setting. Some cities are also testing out automation systems to address ongoing demands of energy.
All smart lighting requires is a network that communicates with other networked devices such as your smartphone. Some even work through WiFi, reducing the need for an automation hub.
The Health Benefits of Smart Lighting
As mentioned above, smart lighting can address issues in the home and office such as health and safety, maintenance and operational costs, and demand for energy. But, smart lighting is also a key component in an environment that benefits your health.
Below, we look at the key health benefits that good lighting like smart lighting provides for your physical and mental wellness.
1. Increased visual comfort
Certain tasks can be better performed under the right color temperature.
Tasks that require concentration such as studying or reading are better done under cooler temperature light bulbs. On the other hand, warmer colors are more compatible with creating a relaxing environment.
The best type of lighting in an office setting is lensed-indirect with a higher color temperature. This type of lighting appears blue-white and simulates daylight colors. This type of lighting scheme can increase productivity and alertness in the office.
Smart lighting enables users to control such visual comfort in both the home and office setting. The ability to control the light bulb’s temperature as the day progresses can provide enhanced visual comfort to the user.
2. Improved mood
The type of mood that a setting is trying to emulate can be achieved with smart lighting. Light therapy is a specific way that smart lighting is being employed to affect and influence mood. In the home or office, smart lighting technology creates the appropriate ambience with effective results.
When specific mood lighting is deployed, the body will pick up that subtle cue and alter its behavior to react to that cue.
A light bulb’s temperature has a great effect on a person’s mood. Certain colors correlate with specific emotions. Blue, for example, is commonly associated with productivity. Green is ideal for tranquility and relaxation. Purple has been shown to suppress appetite.
Smart lighting technology can also have significant financial benefits for a company. Retail brands like Apple, Ted Baker, and Audi all employ certain color schemes to affect their customers and the perception of their brand.
These retailers turn to smart lighting solutions to bolster their brand. By emphasizing the importance of light, retailers can create a distinct, bright look that complements their branding.
The glare and sparkle that LED technology brings to a showroom or retail space creates a livelier environment that draws in customers. Smart lighting, then, can be used to positively alter a consumer’s mood to drive sales.
3. Increased productivity
Research has shown that when a strong, regular light source is employed in the office, workers are more alert and better stimulated. Like music, smart lighting can improve an employee’s ability to concentrate at work.
Before LED technology became the norm, fluorescent lights dominated the workplace.
The beige lighting that fluorescent lights provided led to visual discomfort which became detrimental to workplace performance, with employees experience headaches, stress, eye strain, and fatigue.
Smart lighting had the complete opposite effect on employee productivity.
As smart technology allowed offices to a control light’s color temperature and intensity, visual discomfort was reduced. Improvements in visual performance also meant that employees were subjectively more alert, productive, and better able to concentrate on workplace tasks.
4. Enhanced well-being
In recent years, the workplace setting has seen massive changes to reflect changing work requirements. Modern office design concepts such as activity-based working and the flexible work-space are being used not only to attract top talent, but also to address employees’ well-being.
Lighting is more crucial than ever in the modern office setting.
The globalization of work means employees must balance different geographical latitudes, shift work, and 24/7 working. The nature of this type of modern working means employees have a strong need for improved artificial lighting.
Smart lighting technology, like that found in LED, is part of today’s modern office design and workplace strategy.
Workplace lighting has an important role in employee well-being. The higher quality lighting of LED fittings provides employees with emotional and mental comfort. This results in decreased stress, fatigue, and employee burnout.
An employee with enhanced physical and mental utility is more motivated, and thus more productive. While natural lighting may not always be possible in the modern office, the right type of artificial lighting can have positive effects on an employee’s well-being.
Enriching the mind and body with illumination
For most, lighting is seen as a design afterthought, an aesthetic preference that has no perceived value outside of providing illumination. But lighting is more than just a source of light. It can positively and negatively affect one’s mood, productivity and health.
With home design trends and work environments changing at an unprecedented rate, opportunities and challenges have arisen in aesthetic functionality. Amongst all this is an emphasis on artificial light and its role on an individual’s physical and mental well-being.
By understanding lighting’s importance and employing cutting-edge technology such as smart lighting, spaces can be designed with an individual’s needs in mind.