While energy savings and sustainability remain the core appeals of LED lighting, human-centric lighting (HCL) is rapidly emerging as the next frontier of LED lighting technology. Human-centric lighting encompasses a range of lighting technologies devoted to enhancing quality of life for building occupants. These include a focus on reducing or eliminating flicker, high color rendering (CRI), and the ability to change the color temperature (CCT) and brightness of a light. Controlling the CCT of a light especially harbors some unique benefits.
Health Benefits of Human-Centric Lighting
Health benefits of human-centric lighting result from this ability to dim and color-tune LED lighting to align human bodies with their circadian rhythms.
A circadian rhythm is an individual’s unique physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. Human-centric lighting promotes circadian wellness by aligning an individual’s circadian cycle to the 24-hour sleeping and waking cycle. Light is a major driver of circadian rhythm making it important to control lighting conditions in order to align one’s cycle properly.
Human-centric lighting aides this sleep-wake cycle by offering cooler, bluer light in the morning to promote wakefulness and warmer, redder light in the afternoons and evenings to begin the wind down for the day. Creating this healthy sleep-wake cycle can boost productivity in office workers who may get little to no sunlight during working hours. Studies have also shown that shift workers, such as nurses greatly benefit from human-centric lighting as it allows patients to rest in their rooms using red, dim light, but in the hallways and nurses stations, blue, bright light can be utilized to keep nurses alert and awake.
Options for Human-Centric Lighting
Establishing human-centric lighting in homes can be as simple as changing a light bulb, made possible by LED lighting. However, implementing human-centric lighting in offices and existing buildings can be a costly endeavor, depending on the option you choose.
Integrated LED luminaires are certainly an option—but for existing buildings—this is a costly and arduous process that requires several teams to be involved to get a project off the ground. However, there is a better solution for existing buildings looking to incorporate circadian wellness into their staff’s lives.
Energy Focus’s breakthrough technology, EnFocus™, is a lighting control platform with secure dimmable and color-tunable LED tubes and switches that utilize existing powerlines to provide affordable dimmable and circadian lighting capabilities for existing buildings. EnFocus™ is simple to install and can be done by any qualified electrician, maintenance staff or contractor. One simply uses existing two or three wires to connect the switch to the wall and then rewire the existing fixture with the single-ended LED EnFocus™ tube.