The language of light with Human Centric Lighting

April 15th 2022

Technology has changed the way we live our lives. Constantly developing and evolving, it impacts our work, play and home life, even having an effect on how we eat and sleep.

But while the modern way of living is very different to that of our ancestors, our physical make-up remains the same and too much screen time and artificial light can have a direct impact on our mental and physical health.

The body clock

Derived from the Latin words ‘Circa Diem’, which means ‘about a day’, our bodies run on a 24 hour and 12-minute daily ‘body clock’ which is referred to as our ‘circadian rhythm’ and needs to be reset every day.

It occurs naturally as a physical reaction to light as melanopic light (the blue or cyan part of the rainbow), which is our primary time giver, puts the body into day mode and sets our body clock. In essence, the cycle of sunlight from low to high blue level is what wakes us up and allows us to sleep – it synchronises our bodies with nature’s cycle of sunrise and sunset and is integral to everything we do - and this is why an excess of artificial light can cause disruption to our natural cycle.

Human Centric Lighting

But Human Centric Lighting (HCL) takes this into consideration and allows us to adapt lighting to reflect our individual needs in different situations and environments.

Imitating natural daylight and creating a more comfortable and healthier space for occupiers, HCL helps to keep our circadian rhythm in balance which can enhance quantity and quality of sleep and reduce stress by regulating melatonin and cortisol production – something which, prior to the invention of artificial light, evolved in response to the changing of the light throughout the day.

Research has shown that light can directly affect both our mood and our physical wellbeing and The Dynamic Lighting Study at Hamburg School, the most comprehensive study to date on the subject, revealed that the benefits of HCL are numerous.

Saving clients’ money through energy efficiency is one obvious bonus, but the most valuable benefits of smart HCL lighting from ROBUS (Humanitas range) are health related as the correct lighting can have a profoundly positive impact. Light controls the production of key hormones, which include Melatonin which regulate the circadian rhythm and help to ensure a good night’s sleep. Cortisol regulates our metabolism along with blood pressure and how we react to stress, while Dopamine and Serotonin are the neurotransmitters which are linked to a host of cognitive processes and if exposed to the wrong light at the wrong time, can increase stress, disrupt sleep, and even trigger depression.

So HCL can have many benefits, but certain characteristics must be present within the system for optimum effect.

The language of light

The first is timed variation of blue-cyan lighting, which is the defining characteristic of a HCL system. Flicker and Temporal Light Artefact (TLA) Suppression is also important as it suppresses temporal light artefacts such as flicker and strobing.

Illuminance Boosting In Task Lighting is also crucial as it promotes visual activity and attentiveness for reading, writing, computer work, telesales and other tasks requiring concentration. And Glare Mitigation ensures comfortable levels of glare when used as part of a good lighting design.

So the HUMANITAS range from ROBUS is ideal. This HCL system puts the user in control, allowing them to provide the most appropriate light for their individual environment and circumstance to maximise their wellbeing, productivity, and comfort.

Controlling light and better environments

Controlled by a wireless wall mounted modem, HUMANITAS has fixed colour schemes which can be adapted to change throughout the day as required. Its tuneable white light HCL/HCL+ programmes, can help to keep circadian rhythms entrained and reduce melatonin suppression by ALAN (Artificial light at night). Designed around the concept of a ‘person-in-charge’ end user model, the ROBUS HUMINATAS installations are also designed at a Maintenance Factor of 0.9, which deliver standard illuminance when operated at 75% dimming level.

This leaves a reserve of one third of the standard illuminance lighting capacity in the ceiling, which can be called upon for times when additional task lighting is required to boost visual acuity. In addition to this, all ROBUS HUMANITAS fittings come with flicker-suppressing drivers as standard and selected models are equipped with optical design components which reduce the Unified Glare Rating.

The ROBUS HUMANITAS system has a range of products on offer which address all the potential issues caused by insufficient natural light – these include the MODUM HUMANITAS, SPACE HUMANITAS, SCHOLAR HUMANITAS, GRANADA HUMANITAS AND OWL HUMANITAS.

So products in this system will not only create a comfortable and ambient lighting environment but also go a long way to ensure that users are moving with the times while keeping in tune with the age-old rhythm of their bodies.