EACH INDIVIDUAL should have a personal lighting profile to achieve a ‘work light balance’, a leading expert in the human aspects of lighting has claimed.
Henrik Clausen, professor of lighting design at the Aalborg University in Copenhagen and head of research at the Fagerhult Lighting Academy, says the concepts will help people use controls to give themselves the light they need at the right time.
A person’s age, visual acuity and health means they need light that’s right for them.
‘I dream of creating a world where the lighting control lies in the hand of the end users,’ says Clausen. ‘Where pre-programmed lighting scenes are attuned to our internal, ancient, natural biology.
‘The capacity to receive and respond to light changes dramatically as we reach the later stages of life.
‘Just like the muscles in our arms or legs, our lens muscles start to lose elasticity.
‘Focusing gets harder and blurred vision ensues. Yellowing of the lens can affect colour perception.
‘We find it fatiguing to transition between high and low-light conditions.
‘As people will work into their seventies and beyond, the principles we apply to lighting design must respond to their changing needs.
‘To facilitate the health and well-being of our fastest growing generation, we need to start thinking about illumination in an entirely new light.
‘I believe that the universalisation of lighting design is about empowering people to personalise their lighting to suit the tasks they undertake, at the time of day – and indeed time of life – in which they complete them.
‘To do this properly, we need a better understanding of the many variables that influence how we respond to light stimuli throughout our life.
‘Research shows that human centred lighting design makes people feel more alert, productive and happy’.
Clausen says that more detailed studies are required to help us understand how light affects performance across a broader range of visual, biological and emotional metrics.
‘I believe that this research could yield valuable results for businesses in terms of enhanced productivity, well-being and employee retention, and help us to explore new possibilities to harness light as a powerful force for preventative health, emotional resilience and general well-being.
‘With the help of technology, the potential for ‘light personalisation’ in the workplace is huge.
‘With an app, and a strategic combination of overhead, task and ambient light sources, workers can be empowered to dial up blue light in the morning to feel energized and more focused or increase amber light in the afternoon to feel more relaxed, reduce stress and promote calm.
‘The challenge, should we wish to accept it, is creating a world of ‘work light balance’ where illumination control is in the hands of the worker and lighting schemes are attuned to our internal, ancient, natural biology.’
Henrik Clausen’s concept was first reported in LED Professional.