An interview with Andreas Wojtysiak, Osram Innovation, and Osram product managers Nicolai Heber and Peter Bach on using human-centric lighting (HCL) to create human-friendly environments.
Osram: In human-centric lighting, the biological impact of lighting on humans is the main focus. Can you briefly explain how this works?
AW: Light helps to coordinate our bodily functions, including that of the central nervous system. Our biological processes are still based on an evolutionary day-and-night cycle, but our internal clock has only partially adapted to modern life.
NH: During the day, brightness levels are increased, with a higher blue content that addresses the cells in the retina that regulate our internal clock. Utilising a wide light distribution across a room is important to replicate skylight. In the evening, localised illumination with a low blue content and low intensity makes more sense.
Osram: Many studies have proven the positive effects of HCL solutions for companies. What specifically are those benefits?
AW: Long-term tests in schools have demonstrated that sustained attention is significantly improved, reducing errors in students’ work. This is also important for office work. There are market studies showing increased performance among employees, which can be translated into lower costs over time.
NH: Individuals feel more at ease, can concentrate better and are more alert. Companies benefit from this because staff are more productive and make fewer mistakes, and absenteeism is reduced.
Osram: Does this mean that HCL concepts have a positive benefit-cost ratio?
AW: In terms of energy usage, HCL costs can be higher. But energy costs are outweighed by the beneficial effect on employees. When employees are more productive, you gain much more in the long run.
Osram: Does HCL pay off for companies of all sizes?
NH: With modern lighting and control technology, company size doesn’t matter. Studies show that HCL pays off. The initial investment is higher, but absenteeism is reduced and productivity is increased.
Osram: What’s the difference between HCL and tunable white?
PB: Tunable white is about the individual’s comfort, while HCL focuses on the biological impact. Tunable white provides the technology to plan HCL solutions in the best possible way.
NH: Tunable white is ideal for hotels or restaurants, where changing light mood is crucial.
Osram: What’s the difference between Osram and its competitors?
NH: We want to make HCL easy. Uncomplicated use is the essential characteristic of our HCL concepts and tunable white solutions. Systems are adaptable, scalable, and can be commissioned and operated easily. It’s about good lighting quality at a reasonable price.
Osram: How do you see the future?
NH: Until recently, complexity and cost have been limiting factors. Now, staff health, wellbeing and job satisfaction are becoming more important to employers. Market studies by ZVEI and LightingEurope show that high growth rates can be expected from HCL.
Find out more about HCL here.