Top 5 tips for lighting design and your health
A primary consideration when designing a new home should be how to maximise the amount of natural light flowing into the space. Brightgreen lighting specialist, Courtney Johnston, looks at the most eco-friendly and healthy ways to supplement natural light during the day and illuminate your home in the evening.
Sustainable and health-conscious lighting design can affect our circadian rhythm – dictating physiological functions including appetite, mood, and energy levels.
So what do we need to look for when we are deciding how to light our homes?
LEDs provide the longest lasting and most energy efficient illumination. To find the LEDs that will preform the best over the years, look at the products efficacy rating. In lighting efficacy refers to the amount of light produced (lumens) divided by the amount of power the light uses (watts). Look for a LED that can produce the highest amount of lumens from the smallest amount of watts. As a guide efficacy levels should be between 50-70 lumens per watt.
According to the European Commission of Public Health, “the effects of short-term exposure to UV from artificial light are negligible”*. As there are UV free LED lights readily available at competitive price points, it is best to opt for a totally UV free lighting fit out to decrease the effects of long-term exposure to artificial UV light.
Choose lights that are free from heavy metals and are recyclable
Try to find lights that are free from harmful materials like hexavalent chromium, mercury and lead (found in halogens and fluorescents). When possible seek out lighting brands that offer a buyback recycling system.
Colour temperature and brightness
It is important to tailor a lighting plan that mimics the sun, telling your body what time of day it is and if you should be relaxing or working. In rooms where you need to focus, like the study or the kitchen, choose a white light (with a high colour temperature) to enhance concentration. For living areas and bedrooms choose lighting with a warm colour temperature and consider dimmers for when you want to really relax or prepare for sleep.
Maximise efficiency by choosing the right lights for your area. Remember, not every room needs to be washed in light. Add depth and layers by highlighting features. Tailor your plan by considering the primary use of the room you are illuminating.
For more information on LEDs check out the LED Buyers Guide in ReNew 119.