While the benefits of natural lighting – boosts in energy and productivity, a regulated circadian clock, elevated general happiness – have been well documented, they can still prove elusive for many, especially those who spend their working hours indoors. Under the glare of artificial lighting, ill effects such as eye strain, reduced efficiency and increased instances of stress, high blood pressure and headaches are the rule. It’s not surprising that improving light quality in buildings is at the top of most wish lists for employees and employers alike.
Indeed, lighting is so integral to health and well-being that it’s one of the seven categories in the WELL Building Standard certification program, which stipulates how to incorporate lighting in order to “minimize disruption of the body’s circadian system, enhance productivity, support good sleep quality and provide appropriate visual acuity,” among other objectives.
But “human-centric lighting,” as it’s known colloquially, can also be applied on a micro scale. These days, the design and technical promise that came with the introduction of LEDs is being magnified. From fixtures that emit a range of mood-enhancing colours to models that mimic the daily progression of the sun, lighting products that augment human health in any space are becoming more accessible, as the commercial designs shown here demonstrate.
Artemide recently introduced two new formats – square and rectangular – to its Discovery range of lights. Still boasting a whisper-thin aluminum frame and clear PMMA surface, these new additions also incorporate a combination of RGBW LEDs (red, green, blue and white) that allow for variations of tone, different saturation levels and a tunable white whose temperature can be adjusted from warm to cold as desired.
Simulating open skies in rooms without access to them, this light box gives the impression that the sun is always overhead. Calibrated to reproduce the effects of natural light, the newest “window” profile offered by CoeLux has a thickness of 25 centimetres and can be recessed into both plastered false ceilings and modular tile systems (as well as rooms with low ceiling heights). It can be installed in multiple configurations or as a semi-continuous bank.
As the latest by Artemide and CoeLux demonstrates, well-being has moved to the forefront of lighting design at both the macro and micro level.