Conditions and their consequences
The Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer, has released materials that can support the development of energy efficient circadian lighting n classrooms and hospitals. As a press release from the LRC reports the LRC team “published new guidance documents for designing circadian-effective lighting in K-12 classrooms and hospital patient rooms while avoiding increased energy use. . . .
Research confirms links between what’s seen and tastes experienced. Ueda, Spence, and Okajima, using augmented reality visors, collected view-taste data and report that “What we taste is affected by what we see, and that includes the colour, opacity, and shape of the food we consume. . . . We developed a novel AR [augmented reality] system capable of modifying the luminance distribution of foods [the light coming off/bouncing off food] in real-time using dynamic image processing for simulating actual eating situations.
Brink and colleagues evaluated links between college/university classroom conditions and student performance. They report that their literature review determined that “Warm white light provides a relaxing environment and supports communication, and should gradually change to blue-enriched white light after its prolonged use during the morning to prevent drowsiness. . . . these different correlated color temperatures imitates the natural change of daylight during the day and therefore supports teachers' and students' circadian rhythm.. . .
Peeters, Smolders, and de Kort report on variations in lighting experiences among people working in the same office. The researchers report that when they “tracked office workers’ personal exposure during two three-week field intervention studies, one in winter, one in late spring. . . . the person-based data revealed large differences between - and within - participants in terms of light received at the eye. . . . When designing the lighting plan for a space, the location and placement of light fixtures is a factor that should be considered.
Investigators have found that varying lighting in nursing homes during the course of the day, so that light intensity and color mimics lighting conditions outdoors, supports better sleep among residents. Baier, Miller, McCreedy, Uth, Wetle, Noell-Waggoner, Stringer, and Gifford, used data collected from study participants with an average age of 88 to better understand sleep related issues among nursing home residents: “Nursing home residents tend to fall asleep at all hours of the day, and during the night, their sleep may be interrupted by periods of wakefulness. . .
The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer is making available, at the web address noted below, an information-packed video that will be useful both to people designing lightscapes and also to anyone working from home. At the source website, the LRC shares that it “has released a new video on how to maintain good sleep while working from home, or quarantining indoors, which is becoming more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic.
Effects on performance and alertness
Research completed by McCunn and colleagues confirms the value of allowing people some control over their physical environment. The investigators report that data they collected from nurses working at several locations and analyzed revealed “A theme of environmental control over both overhead and task lighting. . . . controllability was among the ‘best’ lighting attributes. . . . Daylighting was also considered to be among the best attributes. Control over light level via additional dimming capability for patients, as well as additional light sources, was prominent. . . .
Research lead by Paksarian and Merikangas, and published in JAMA Psychiatry, confirms that nighttime light can have undesirable consequences.