In this day in age we take light for granted. The ability to let light in through windows, or the ability to flick a switch and light up a room, is expected. If the power goes out everyone panics, typically for two reasons, the inability to heat or cool their house, and the inability to see.
Today’s commercialized light sources, whether they be LED, Florescent, Incandescent, etc., are typically viewed as a means to light up a space. However, that is not enough. The light source we choose illuminate a space needs to be thought about differently. It needs to be understood as a tool, that directly impacts how one feels and experiences a space.
There have long been theories about the psychological impact of light. Through years of research, many of these theories are proving that light and emotion are directly correlated with one another. Light can impact the health and well-being of humans. Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, both former professors of psychology at the University of Michigan, have conducted numerous studies on the way humans react to their environments. A study they published titled “The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective” includes some thought-provoking findings that can help us better understand the way light impacts us. One key findings from this study, that directly correlates to light includes:
People look for the familiar in the unfamiliar. When someone is experiencing a new space they consciously or subconsciously look for familiar objects. Lighting can be used to help highlight elements of a space that someone may find familiar. OLED lighting gives designers the ability to utilize light as part of the design, rather than an afterthought. Using OLED Light within the design of a room, rather than simply placing a lamp on a nightstand, allows designers to highlight certain elements of a room, and create something familiar while using a healthy light source.
Familiarity is also a key trend in the hospitality space. When people travel they are looking for the comfort of home, and to feel connected with other guests, and staff. They want to feel like they are part of the experience. Hoteliers can help to create a comforting experience through the light source, and light design they choose. It’s Important that we never lose sight of the fact, that light helps to tell a story. How someone views the space they are occupying, is all part of the experience they remember.
Not only does light illuminate a space, it also alters how we perceive the colors around us. For example incandescent bulbs make items appear warm, similar to a sunrise or sunset, while LED light sources emit a cooler, blue light. Cinematographers and photographers will use cool, blue light when trying to promote feelings of anger or depression. They utilize warmer hues when trying to evoke feelings of comfort and happiness. The picture below, as seen here, shows how lighting can emphasize one’s emotions. While LED and Incandescent both have benefits, they are equally lacking key qualities. For example, LED is energy efficient but emits cool light tones, and harsh blue light. Incandescent emits warm, comforting tones, but is not energy efficient. In our article, "The Struggle Between the Aesthetic of Incandescent, the Efficiency of LED & the Solution – OLED” we discuss the benefits of both incandescent and LED, and how OLED lighting offers the best of both worlds – warm and friendly hues, while remaining eco-friendly. Utilizing OLED light sources within a room is good for one’s health and wellness, while being energy-efficient – the best of both worlds.
OLED lighting is a light source that looks and feels good. It gives off a warm, pleasing, diffused light, while being good for the environment. Not only is it an energy efficient light source, but it is comprised of organic compounds, and glass. Due to its flexible and thin nature, it is a light source than can be utilized within a design, rather than viewed as an after-thought. It is a light source that creates an experience, and a story, for the end-user.
Lighting has the ability to make a space feel relaxing and pleasant, spacious and orderly, clear and cool, and the list goes on. When designing a space, light needs to be viewed as much more than a means to help someone see. It is the lens through which we view a space, through which a story is built, and an experience is formed.