Light as a timer of our body

Human Centric Lighting: first and foremost, well-being and and respect for the biological rhythms of human beings.

There is a discrepancy between natural light and artificial light, it concerns the intensity, the colour, and the dynamism of the light.

Natural light is not always the same, it is dynamic, it varies depending on the time of day, from dawn to dusk (and also on the geographical location). Artificial light, on the other hand, remains the same at all times of the day, from waking up until going back to sleep.

On a sunny day outdoors there are about one hundred thousand lux, on a cloudy day it’s down to ten thousand, but normally people spend 90% of their time indoors. In an office, there are usually around 500 lux, and in a school 300.

You therefore need the right light for different activities (circadian rhythm), in the right place at the right time, i.e::

  • Cold, high-intensity light is needed in the morning
  • In the afternoon the ideal light is white, always at high intensity
  • Warm, low-intensity light is best in the evening
  • The night… the artificial light is off

The lighting at each of these times of day should then be considered in relation to the place of application: office, factory, school, retirement home, hospital or home.

Light and darkness are equally important to us, they are like a timer for our body, accompanying and helping our moments of dynamism and those of rest and sleep.

Light, in particular, affects vision, attention and cognitive performance, emotions and energy.

People-based lighting improves all these aspects of our everyday lives.

Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is a type of lighting that can benefit people’s health and biological well-being. This type of lighting is achieved by adjusting the intelligent light source, almost always an LED, to mimic the levels of sunlight during the day.

At work, the well-being that HCL brings is able to increase productivity and decrease errors and even the number of absences (Source: “Quantified benefits of Human Centric Lighting”, report by LightingEurope & ZVEL, 2015).

Lighting design is therefore not just about looking after itself and the needs of architects and rooms, because lighting design cannot ignore people.


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