1. Natural Light Increases Focus and Decreases Stress.
Natural light has been shown to increase alertness and overall productivity. Soaking up as much natural light as possible during the day, has also been associated with a better night’s sleep. What about stress? Feeling overwhelmed can lead to a sense of panic, and an inability to move forward with the tasks at hand. Natural light can help to create an inner calm, which leads to the ability to focus. According to Elemental Green, ”If people are exposed to light in the morning that mimics the wavelengths of daylight, they become better at coping with anxiety-provoking experiences. The light simply improves the communication between the regions of the brain that are central to our handling of emotions such as stress and anxiety,” says PhD fellow Brenda Mc Mahon, MD, of the Neurobiology Research Unit at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.”
2. Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
This is a disease that often fly’s under the radar, but can have a significant impact on someone’s state of happiness, and well being. SAD is a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change. Especially for those living in the Northeast (Hi Neighbor!), the Fall and Winter months can drag on. SAD is linked to a disruption in our circadian rhythm and decreases serotonin and melatonin. This is all due to a lack of natural light! Hotels, homes, workplaces, etc. should be designed to let in an abundance of natural light, even during the dark winter months. Those in spaces with more natural light, will have less disruption to their circadian rhythm, leading to better overall health and well-being.
3. Vitamin D Doesn’t Discriminate.
No matter where you receive your Vitamin D, outdoors, in your home, in a hotel, an office, etc. you are still receiving the health benefits of the “sunshine vitamin.” Your skin actually make Vitamin D when exposed to the Sun. Vitamin D not only prevents bone loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, weight gain and various cancers, it influences the functioning of over 200 genes in our bodies. Designing a space to incorporate natural light, allows for those experiencing the space to get their daily dose of Vitamin D, without even realizing it!
4. Reduces the need for Fluorescent Lighting.
The more natural light that is available, the less artificial light that is needed. Exposure to artificial, energy-efficient light sources such as LED, creates an elevated stress response. As posed by Psychology Today, “if energy efficient bulbs increase mental and physical disease burden – even by a small amount – the collective cost to public health to use them may be enormous.” Many of these artificial light sources have high levels of blue light causing sleep disturbances via melatonin suppression. As the dangers of blue light begins to become more well-known, what about other factors like flicker? There is still much to understand about the negative impact to society’s health and well-being from artificial light sources such as LED.
The solution? Surround yourself with as much natural light as possible, or the next best thing, OLED lighting, which we will get to at the end of this post!
There are many clever ways to get more natural light such as mirrors, specific color combinations, getting rid of blinds, getting outdoors, etc. However, in today’s world, it is unrealistic to think that our only light source will be natural light. Due to increased R&D in OLED technology we may have a solution.
Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) technology has come a long way from its invention, back in 1987. As stated by Lighting Manufacturer, “virtually no photons are generated in the ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) regions of the spectrum in organic electroluminescence, eliminating the health risks associated with other artificial light sources. The accurate color rendition (CRI 90 minimum) and healthy light spectrum makes OLEDs attractive for lighting applications which require premium quality illumination.”
So now the real question, how does OLED light help close the gap between artificial light and natural light?
OLED technology has the closest spectral power distribution to natural light, of any other artificial light source. It emits a warm and pleasant glare free light, with natural color reproduction, creating for an overall emotionally pleasing ambiance. Due to the makeup of OLED technology, when objects are illuminated by an OLED light source they appear highly saturated, as if being illuminated by natural light.
Although the goal should always be to get as much natural light as possible, OLED technology is the next best thing.
With more R&D into this technology, Nadarra is well suited to design and manufacture healthy light fixtures for years to come, that look and feel good.