Science-Informed Lighting Design

The color and intensity of the artificial light we experience is an importance influence on how we think and behave.  Neuroscience research details how designers can use artificial light to positively affect human beings’ experiences at home, work, school, or wherever else they might be and whatever they might be doing.    

Home Lighting Implications (08-04-21)

How should homes be lit to increase the likelihood of healthy users? Ticleanu report that “A combination of bright daytime light and night-time darkness is essential for circadian entrainment and maintenance of a regular daily sleep–wake cycle. . . . Find indoor seating positions that receive abundant daylight levels but still allow for visual comfort to be maintained. For example, facing towards windows but at an angle and/or at a distance away from them so that glare does not occur, and visual task details are perceived easily, quickly and comfortably.. .

Sleep and Light (08-03-21)

How does light experienced during the day influence sleep?  Figueiro and colleagues set out to answer this question. They used an online survey “to quantify potential changes in daytime light exposures resulting from teleworking or self-isolating at home [during the Covid-19 pandemic] and how those changes might have affected self-reported sleep quality, psychological health and emotional health. The first survey was administered in early May 2020, and the second survey was administered in September 2020.

Circadian Shifts (07-26-21)

Khodasevich and teammates investigated how artificial light can support circadian rhythms.  They “measured light exposure and wrist temperature among residents of an urban area during each of the four seasons. . . . Our results demonstrate that humans are minimizing natural seasonal differences in light exposure, and that circadian shifts and disruptions may be a more regular occurrence in the general population than is currently recognized. . . .

Lightness Changes Desirable (04-16-21)

Rodriquez and teammates determined via a virtual-reality-based study that we prefer apparent daylighting levels to vary from time to time in viewed urban environments; their findings may be useful to people developing virtual spaces, for example. The group shares that their work “analyze[d] subjective reponses to lightness changes in outdoor views with respect to three view constructs (i.e., preference, recovery, and imageability). . .

Good Lighting, Evolving (04-13-21)

Which light is best? Houser and colleagues report that “light is still for vision, and lighting for visibility, visual comfort and visual amenity is as important as ever. Complementing the old is new awareness and responsibility for how light and lighting influence non-visual responses in humans. Circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioural responses are important for human health and should be considered on-par with visual responses. This awareness leads toward lighting design solutions with increased contrast between day and night.

Urban Public Space Lighting Implications (04-09-21)

Hvass and teammates investigated how lighting urban spaces influence perceptions of experiences there. They determined via a field study in public transportation waiting areas and a laboratory experiment (where one light zone simulated the same sort of waiting area and the other the surrounding urban space) that “participants perceived the atmosphere in the simulated waiting area as relaxed and private when luminance intensity was low.


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