There are many conflicting stories over light and if we are getting too much, not enough, the wrong, or even the right light all together. Studies have been conducted and are continuing as we are finding more and more how light affects us. One big source of controversy is blue light or bright lights that are being installed in many newer buildings. Scientists are saying installation of LEDs with blue light are good as they stimulate workers, students and patients to be more alert and awake during the day since they lack natural blue light from outdoors. Other scientists say blue light and bright lights cause horrible health effects such as insomnia, trouble falling asleep, cancer and health disease. Looking at both of these sides, light is complex just like the world we live in, with no one way that will solve all of our problems.
The big reason for a surge of blue/bright light being installed in businesses, schools, hospitals and nursing homes is because of the great energy savings and from research done over the last 20 years relating light to our Circadian Rhythm or our internal body clock. Researchers have found blue light, which we would naturally get from a bright sunny day, actually stimulates the production of cortisol, or our happy hormone, which makes us feel good and energized. More businesses, offices, schools, hospitals and nursing homes are installing blue light because of the benefits of improved concentration and productivity to their employees, patients and students during the day.
Blue/bright light has had some opposition because of the same reason it’s been popular. When we are exposed to blue light, our bodies produced cortisol, which keeps us awake. When we have blue light in almost everything we are using including cell phones, computers, and televisions, we’re hitting an overexposure of blue light. This overexposure can cause problems with insomnia and keeping our body on the right rhythm.
This is why BALANCE is so important. Use that blue light in the morning to get you going and motivated. Use it during the day to keep your concentration up and your body going. But when your work day is over and the sun starts setting, start shutting down the lighting that has blue in it. Turn off the fixtures that have “daylight” lamps in them, turn on the “blue light filter” on your phone, and turn off the TV a couple hours before you want to sleep. You’re evening should be filled with warm light tones to ease you out of that blue energy, and allow the release of melatonin to put you in a relaxed, restful state.
The sun naturally balances the light we need but now we need to translate the cycles of light on earth into artificial light and bring it indoors to use. At Energy Performance Lighting, we are experts in light. We are able to translate the light from outdoors and bring it indoors to balance your needs of blue light, to have a heathy circadian rhythm so occupants can lead a happier and healthier life.