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How does lighting affect your biological clock?

Our biological rhythm

The circadian rhythm is a natural 24-hour period that regulates our sleep and wake cycle. In addition, this biological rhythm also regulates other processes such as metabolism, hormone production and our body temperature. This rhythm is influenced by several factors, including light and darkness. Light, and therefore lighting, has a very big impact on our biological clock. Therefore, choosing the right lighting is very important. This affects our sleep quality, mood and overall health, among other things.

Light and darkness

Exposure to light helps our internal clock reset. Therefore, light in the morning is of great value. This is because it makes you feel less sleepy and more alert. So it’s not surprising that you have more trouble getting up in the winter. On the other hand, light can also disrupt our sleep cycle. Exposure to light during the late evening hours or at night suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone our body produces to regulate our sleep. Therefore, light at the wrong time can also affect your sleep (rhythm).

The influence of light

So indoor lighting can play a major role in regulating our biological rhythms. Especially for people who spend most of their day indoors. There are several factors about “light” that affect our biological rhythms. These include, the type of light, intensity and timing. These three factors have the greatest influence on our biological clock.

Natural light

The two main types of lighting are “natural light” and artificial light. Natural light we also know as daylight is the most effective way to regulate our biological clock. Some people notice this extra well, for example, when the clock is changed. Why natural light is the most effective way? This is because it is light with a full spectrum (from infrared to ultraviolet). In addition, the intensity and color temperature of daylight changes throughout the day. Unfortunately, daylight is not available in every place or room. Therefore, artificial light can be used to mimic natural light. And support our biological rhythms.

The right lighting

The right (indoor) lighting can help you better get, or stay, in your biological rhythm. Therefore, we are happy to help you develop a lighting solution for any project. From offices to nursing homes, lighting has a big impact on how people feel. To choose the right indoor lighting, we consider these three factors, among others.

Color temperature

The color temperature of light is measured in Kelvin (K). This refers to the warmth or coolness of light. Warm lighting, such as candlelight, has a color temperature between 2700K and 3000K. In contrast, cool lighting, such as (bright) daylight, has a color temperature between 5000K and 6500K. Depending on the time of day, you need cooler or warmer lighting to contribute to a proper biological clock.

Intensity

Light intensity is measured in lumens (lm). Lumen, in turn, refers to the amount of light coming from a light source. Higher light intensity can promote people’s alertness and productivity. In contrast, lower light intensity is desirable for relaxation and encourages sleep. To easily adjust light intensity, we use (automatic) dimmers. This allows light to be adjusted throughout the day to help our biological clock.

Timing

Finally, the timing of indoor lighting is crucial to the regulation of our sleep and wake cycles. In the morning, it is best to use bright light to “wake up” and reset the internal clock. In the evening, use warm and dimmed light to promote sleep. Here, automatic lighting systems can provide the perfect solution. These systems automatically adjust light intensity and temperature based on daylight.

Better lighting for a better biological clock

Now you know that the right lighting can have a big impact on our circadian or biological rhythms. But also on our sleep quality, mood and overall health. Choosing the right lighting is done based on color temperature, intensity and timing, among other factors. Do you also want the best health for your employees or residents? Then make sure you have the right lighting. We are happy to help you with this and come up with an appropriate lighting solution. From lighting plan to installation, you can come to us for everything.

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Maurice Arons

Director