We’ve got used to the fact that light plays a vital role in influencing our health and wellbeing. There are many human-centric lighting (HCL) systems available, offering varying degrees of effectiveness, that provide a level of management of our interior illumination. But most of these systems address artificial lighting; daylight is rarely incorporated.
Daylight is necessary for a healthful environment. The Well Building Institute says: ‘Exposure to appropriate amounts of natural light reinforces the alignment of our circadian rhythms.’
There are a number of things going on here.
Daylight brings a physiological benefit. It helps to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Daylight acts as the reference for all HCL systems. It is this natural daily cycle that helps maintain the body’s tissues and organs, hormone levels and sleep-wake patterns. Scientific evidence strongly demonstrates the impact on our health when these rhythms are disrupted.
There is also a psychological benefit to having access to daylight. In the simplest terms, this means being able to look up from our work and look out of a window.
Eye fatigue is a problem that can be alleviated by a view from a window. It can come from extended periods looking at a computer screen and keyboard. The eye is constantly using close vision, so the muscles of the eye work hard to maintain focus. Looking out of a window shifts focus, helping to relax the musculature.
But what happens if you don’t have a window close to your desk? It’s here that most HCL systems fall down.
SkyLUX is an HCL system that also acts as a natural light simulator. Using the latest LED technology combined with nano-optical design, it mimics natural daylight and sunlight. The optical design also creates the impression that the viewer is looking into the real sky.
The software that drives the system enables the user to mimic natural lighting for any location in the world, for any time of year. So while it’s usual to set the system according to the geographical location of the installation, it’s also possible to create daylighting conditions for any other place in the world. This can be useful in specific shift-working environments where staff are working across time zones.
The technical specification of SkyLUX is excellent. The system uses different colour temperatures (from 2,500K to 10,000K) with a colour rendering of >95 across the entire range. It is provided with four preprogrammed settings as well as a manual option. Dimming capability is from 0 to 100 per cent.
Tests run by independent test house LUX-TSI indicate that the equivalent melanopic lux (EML) values sit within the guidelines of the Well Building Institute, making this an ideal accompaniment to any architectural HCL scheme where natural daylight is restricted.
For more information visit www.teucerled.co.uk