Our biological systems are programmed, at the deepest level, to respond to changes in our environment as we move through the 24 hours of day and night. This ‘body clock’ (or circadian rhythm) takes many of its cues from the visible light around us and adjusts the hormones in our body to control things like alertness, hunger, and stress. When someone is denied the proper levels of light and dark throughout the day, they find their sleep patterns, mood and appetite become increasingly erratic and unpredictable.
The quality of light in our homes should not be overlooked or underestimated for its importance. Some well considered adjustments or upgrades to household lighting could have a huge impact on how we experience our daily lives. The advancement in control technology means that we’re no longer limited to either on or off, light or dark. Home lighting can now be a truly immersive experience, transforming and maximising the potential of every room.
This modern appreciation of lighting design is being referred to as ‘human centric lighting’ and its implementation can vastly improve our relationship to the home, lighten our mood, and promote healthy sleeping patterns at night.
Seeing the light
In our eyes, we have an abundance of light-sensitive cells, most of which act as the image forming mechanism for sight. But there are also retinal neurons known as ‘intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells’ (or ipRGCs to their friends) that aren’t helping us see, but are very much still responding to the light around us. Interestingly, these ipRGCs are especially responsive to the kind of light found outdoors around midday, the blue end of the spectrum that can be up to 10,000K. This part of the spectrum is known to suppress melatonin (the sleep hormone) and encourages dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin instead. In short, this means that exposure to this kind of light makes you more alert and productive during the day, as well as cause major disruptions to sleep patterns if too much is present in the evenings.
Human Centric Lighting for the home
Balancing lighting systems, to increase comfort and productivity in the workplace has been a growing area of concern for employers for many years now. A happy and enthusiastic workforce is the holy grail of any progressive business after all! But these same principles of balancing light and mood are only just making their way into the home. These days people are doing an incredibly wide range of activities in their homes, with more people taking up small offices and studios in spare rooms. Then you have the time for homework or play with the kids, entertaining for the parents, movie nights, not to mention 3am toilet breaks. A dynamic lighting system that provides the appropriate spectrum and intensity for all these different activities would improve the way we feel and go about our daily routines, not to mention the synchronicity we’d find with our natural, circadian rhythm.
Kitchen lighting is one of the main areas where lighting control should be more considered. Traditional on/off switching just doesn’t serve us adequately anymore. For most households, the kitchen is still the main social hub, where everyone mingles and comes together to do all sorts of things. Dimmable LED technology with pre-set controls that can change this environment to suit different moods at the touch of a button, offering a clean, effective solution that also allows for custom setting changes – when the mood takes you!
Keeping you illuminated
By understanding your specific lifestyle patterns we can control lighting in your home to work with your natural habitat. At IndigoZest we’ve been designing intricate and intelligent lighting solutions since day one. Lighting control allows for a nearly infinite number of ways to creatively illuminate the home, and we love nothing more than developing a unique and satisfying solution for our clients. We can control and dim lighting both inside and outside of the house to varying degrees dependent on the time of day, circumstance, one-off events or mood.
Of course, with multiple systems inside and out, it’s important that everything can communicate reliably with your control and monitoring devices. In any lighting control system that links several components on a network, the signalling between the units needs to conform to a recognised ‘protocol’; i.e. each system component must understand the data language being used. The protocol used within any given lighting control system might be specific to that supplier, or it might conform to an internationally recognised standard.
We have a number of lighting control options to suit any solution and interior. KNX, Lutron, Control 4. We’re not tied to any one provider, so we can make sure you get the perfect solution for your needs. Each one of these systems is installed to the highest of standards, so you can be sure it works seamlessly and experts are on hand for the best in aftercare service.
If you’d like to find out more about intelligent, human centric lighting design, and how it could revolutionise your home or workplace – why not book in a visit to one of our showrooms, where one of our highly trained professionals can enlighten you further.