Healthcare, Lighting Industry

Profession unites to promote wellbeing during crisis

A man with a beard stares intently at a laptop in his living room
The Light Minded Movement is ‘an opportunity for the lighting community to communicate through images, showing how they are coping with the changes in their working conditions, life at home, family, how their days have changed and what they are doing to keep mentally well’ say administrators

LEADING institutions and associations have come together to help unite lighting professionals working from home and improve morale and mental health. 

The Institution of Lighting Professionals, the Society of Light and Lighting, the International Association of Lighting Designers and Zumtobel Group have launched a social media initiative called the Light Minded Movement. 

The Instagram project aims to encourage wellbeing among those working in lighting. 

A theme is being set each week and members of the industry working remotely are being invited to post pictures which relate to it. 

‘It’s an opportunity for the lighting community to communicate through images, showing how they are coping with the changes in their working conditions, life at home, family, how their days have changed and what they are doing to keep mentally well,’ the Light Minded Movement said.

‘We need to rethink the term social distancing, we need to come closer, even if that means not physically’.

Administrators include Emma Cogswell of the IALD, Jess Gallacher and Jo Bell of the ILP, Brendan Keely and Juliet Rennie from the SLL and April Dorrian and Dan Hodgson of the Zumtobel Group.

Meanwhile, leading lighting designer Sabine de Schutter of Studio De Schutter has drawn up six lighting hacks to help colleagues in the wider industry create a more productive atmosphere for home working.

’We’re all facing new challenges, both at home and in the workplace due to the global spread of Covid-19,’ says De Schutter.

‘As people are encouraged to work from home, the home-office has suddenly become the new reality for many.

‘As lighting designers, we wanted to share some of our lighting tips and tricks on how to get your home-office ready.

She recommends experiencing bright daylight BEFORE logging on to your computer. ‘Take your preferred morning drink onto the balcony or window before going on screen. Brightness during the day and darkness at night are the most important biological cues to set our sleep-wake cycle. 

‘Did you know that, according the building regulations, at least one of your spaces should get four hours of daylight? So choose a bright room to work in and sit perpendicular to the window to avoid glare or reflections on your screen.

‘Take breaks and go outside for at least 15 minutes per day. Small amounts of direct light deliver the UVA-B radiation that we need to produce and refill Vitamin D after the short winter days.

‘Research shows that in companies with a high standard of interior design, productivity can increase by up to 36 per cent. 

‘The design of the office space plays a vital role in team efficiency and well-being, as a study from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute has indicated. 

‘Lighting is found to be very important and at the same time there is 40 per cent space for improvement.

‘Take a moment to analyse the lighting situation in your home: 

‘Do you have table luminaires that you can adjust to your preference? Is there light glaring or bothering you?

‘Try to avoid one single bright sources in front or behind you. Do you have enough light? 

‘Check this by downloading a Lux Meter App on your phone. There are many free versions available. 

‘You should have around 400-500lx on your table.

‘Everyone who works remotely has to figure out how to create boundaries between work and personal life. 

‘Working in your living room or at your kitchen table? No problem! With lighting, you can change the setting so that one space can become multifunctional. 

‘Change between lighting for living and lighting for working. This will help you and your kids to focus. For work you need brighter and whiter light, in the evenings you’ll want warmer, dimmer and lower lighting levels. 

‘It can be as easy as exchanging a lightbulb with 4000K for working to 2700K for more relaxed setting.

‘For conference calls, avoid weird shadows on your face or hard light coming from one side by having a warm diffuse light source coming from the same direction as the camera. This will make your face look smoother and shadow-free’.