Light is the element that allows to see and understand our environment, in the absence of light all is unknown. The geometry and colors start to exist for us after the interaction between matter and light. You must know light properties and how affects our brain to illuminate correctly.
If you want to know how to illuminate your spaces with artificial light sources efficiently, without forgetting function and aesthetic, Welcome, this post is for you!
Technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, but our body hasn’t develop at the same speed, avoiding full adaptation to certain stimuli of technological devices that have invaded our daily lives: as cell phones, tablets, computers, artificial light or any device or similar object that emits light. In this article we will talk specifically about artificial light and the harmony that should be set between our Interior spaces and our biological clock.
Nuisances such as migraine, stress, fatigue, did not exist in the life of our ancestors to a critical level, because daily activities were guided by natural light: The sun in the day and the moon at night. Dusk arrived and work concluded leaving space for them to rest, lit a warm fire and allowing their bodies release melatonin to reconcile a deep sleep. With the appearance of electricity, and therefore artificial light, daily activities got extended until after sundown causing a rupture of the cycle with natural light. But their is a way to stop this from a being an issue: Illuminating by observing how nature works.
Unquestionably today, artificial light sources are indispensable for the development of our societies, but we must understand that this constant stimuli affects our brain directly, the quality of our rest and therefore our performance in our daily activities.
One of the most important concepts in lighting (perception) is about “Color Temperature”. We must be clear about this concept to give our spaces the quality that users will perceive, warm temperature for our bedrooms or our living rooms and a light with more energy for the work areas.
What is color temperature?
The “color temperature” it’s measured in Kelvin (K) degrees. To understand the temperature of a color we’ll imagine a “black body” (theoretical or ideal object that absorbs all light and radiant all the energy incident upon him) which is subjected to fire, when heated the black body temperature rises and gets a reddish color, the more heat it gets its hue turns blue, giving way to a different color for each temperature reached by the black body. The blue color gives a “cold” perception but needs to be longer exposed to fire (high temperature) to achieve its hue, contrary to red which requires less energy yet gives a warmly perception. (See image below)
Each tonality belongs to a different temperature. The color temperature is the temperature in Kelvin (k) degrees reached by the black body in a certain color.
In the image: 2000K = Red / 3200K = Ambar / 5500 = Natural White / 10000 K = Blue, etc.
Less Energy = Warm Light = melatonin (hormone) = Rest and relaxation
More Energy = Cold Light = Cortisol (Hormone) = Activity / Stress
The graphic below represent a different color temperatures of light. Notably, all are white lights, the difference is only the color temperature, these are commercially known as warm light, neutral light and cold light. Temperature – color relationship of light source is exactly like the black body relationship: the lower the temperature of light source is the color tendency are warm like yellow / amber, however if the temperature is high, the light will be cold bluish color. Stop and aware of your enviroment and realize that the perception of objects is determined by this condition.
Once understood this feature of light we will extrapolate the concept explained to sunlight (perfect light for human): The sun has its journey in harmony with our circadian cycle, color temperature and intensity made us couple our activities to the condition that introduces us to a specific time of day. The sun in the morning is brighter and energy, is a perceptually cold light but high in temperature (k) and therefore energetic, which makes it perfect to stimulate our body when we wake up and perform with vigor our daily activities, however in the afternoon its color is changing to warm colors: amber, red, yellow decreasing significantly its temperature and energy, this light being warm and relaxing will tell the body that it should be releasing melatonin so in later hours the body could reconcile a deep and restful sleep. Given the quality of the sunlight for 24 hours a day, is just play your natural cycle to artificially illuminate our spaces.
Example of lighting temperature in a Bedroom
Warm light: ideal before sleep / Cold light: ideal for awakening
With warm light atmosphere is relaxing and comfortable. Table lamps are ideal in the scene by its temperature and by the angle of incidence to the human eyes. Our advice is that you have several color temperature options for areas where you perform various activities both day and night.
Remember that, the first step will be to determine the activities to be developed in the area to be illuminated in order to provide the appropriate color temperature to relax or keep the user aware.
The release of hormones such as cortisol and melatonin in part depends on light, multiple scientific studies blame artificial lighting (misused) of various ills that affect humanity, which include stress, insomnia and even obesity epidemic. This is the result of illumination with incorrect color temperature, also exposure to electronic devices in the moments before falling asleep.
Light up your life and live better!