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HUMAN CENTRIC LIGHTING: LIGHT THAT ADAPTS TO THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE

Lighting design is an increasingly complex process: Human Centric Lighting takes the biological, visual and atmospheric effects of light into account


Light is a key element for human well-being. We are all aware of the beneficial effects the sun has on the body, from the synthesis of vitamin D to the uplifting of moods. This important understanding is also applicable to indoor lighting. For a long time we have designed lighting systems for simple practical functions that are necessary for the performance of everyday human activities, to satisfy requirements such as visibility, orientation and safety. More recently, however, the paradigm has changed. There is a growing consensus in science that light has an impact on a variety of human functions, in particular on the biological rhythm or circadian rhythm, depending on how you define it.

These assumptions have led to the concept of Human Centric Lighting (HCL), or rather, a new way of understanding lighting based around people’s well-being and focused on adapting to their needs.
 

WHAT IS HUMAN CENTRIC LIGHTING?
Human Centric Lighting is a lighting design concept that seeks to implement solutions in which the biological, visual and emotional effects of light are combined holistically, with the purpose of creating a positive impact on people’s mental and physical state, productivity, mood and health.

Human Centric Lighting analyses and applies methods that achieve the most appropriate lighting at any time of day or year, to favour the all-round well-being of the individual.

The HCL approach to lighting shouldn’t surprise us so much, as it is based on what we experience in nature. The human biological rhythm, from the cardiac system to the sleep-wake cycle, spontaneously adapts to changes in light not only throughout the day but also from one season to the next.

Based on this information, Human Centric Lighting aims to create environments where light is a crucial element that is capable of increasing the sensation of comfort perceived by the person who, for whatever reason, happens to be within that living space. Hence the name “Human Centric”. It is the development of a lighting system that centres on the interests of people, striving to meet their physical and psychological needs.

THE IMPACT OF LIGHT ON PEOPLE’S WELL-BEING
In the absence of natural light, artificial light sources play a major role in the performance of our daily functions; not just influencing our well-being but also our levels of motivation, concentration and productivity. The aim of the Human Centric Lighting method is to develop a lighting design that meets all of these needs in an optimal manner.

A professional using this approach in any lighting project must focus their attention on three components:

●       the visual component;

●       the emotive component;

●       the biological component.

The visual element is fundamental in the context of any environment. Good visibility allows us to feel comfortable and to properly navigate the space we find ourselves in.

A good HCL project will also take into account the atmosphere that it wants to create for those within the environment. Depending on the specific needs, the space can create an atmosphere of warmth, welcome, relaxation, energy or concentration.

Lastly, there is the essential biological aspect of the lighting design. This part of the lighting design must be developed with the utmost care insofar as it influences the biorhythm of its occupants, ensuring, for example, greater productivity during the day or better quality of sleep at night.
 

AREAS OF APPLICATION FOR HUMAN CENTRIC LIGHTING
An approach that uses Human Centric Lighting is key in any context where light plays an important role. Hospitals, care homes, offices, factories and schools are areas of application in which Human Centric Lighting can make a huge difference.

In all these sectors, light is progressively becoming an instrument that is used to improve people’s quality of life. On a wider scale, the HCL approach can be applied to all indoor spaces where we spend a large part of the day. This also includes the domestic environment.

The practical application of Human Centric Lighting is supported by the latest technologies, particularly those developments in relation to the Internet of Things, which are expanding the range of products available for lighting projects. The lighting revolution has just begun. From now on, a wave of increasingly intelligent innovations tailored to human needs awaits us. 

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