Full Spectrum Light and SAD in the Workplace
FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT and SAD in the WORKPLACE
"Light creates many moods" June McLeod
What are we discussing lighting for? Is it important? If you think you can do your job in the dark or in dim candlelight, then no.
However, if lighting is relevant to your work, then the type of lighting you have is VERY important.
There are obviously things to consider;
Style of lighting features:
Type of lighting:
Function of lighting:
Answering YES to any of the above would mean that lighting IS an important factor to discuss.
Unarguably, it is the most natural and economical source of light.
It is recommended by many studies that 1 hour in natural, unfiltered daylight can have many health benefits.
In moderation, sunlight:
- boosts your energy levels
- it helps natural sleep patterns, particularly useful for babies and also those who travel a lot to alleviate jet-lag
Importantly though, it is because of the varying reaction of the rods and cones over the retina in different types of light, our perception of colour changes. In fact, the human eye can detect more than 6,000,000 colours.
These benefits are not a new discovery, as sunlight has an ancient legacy of healing -
Heliotherapy or the use of light to treat medical conditions is thousands of years old.
Herodotus wrote "exposure to sun is necessary to help people overcome failing health". In winter, spring and autumn, he recommended the patient should permit the rays of the sun to fall full upon him, in summer, this method should be used moderately because of excessive heat. This was the precursor to the therapeutic use of full spectrum lighting as in the case of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
We know that the traditional bulbs we have used for years are being phased out. These have been used either in single or multiple fittings, spotlights; tracker systems. They dont last long in comparison to newer bulbs; they use more energy and get hotter than others. The new alternative to these bulbs are the energy saving bulbs - they last about 10x longer and use roughly 80% less energy.
There is no doubt that this type of lighting has come on since the 1940's when it was first introduced. It is seen to be more efficient than incandescent bulbs e.g. a 36 watt (4ft/1.2m) tube bulb emits the samer light as 4 x 60 watt old bulbs.
FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT
Full spectrum is not a technical term when applied to a bulb but a marketing term implying that the product emulates natural light.
WORK RELATED BENEFITS OF FULL SPECTRUM or DAYLIGHT MATCHED BULBS
More able to see colours more accurately - in current fluorescent lighting a red object will look muted; however in full spectrum it will be closer to its true colour
There are many manufacturers of full spectrum lights that claim to be the best and closest producers of natural looking light. This is no surprise as clearly they are in a market, competing for business too
Exerts taken from "Lighting in the Workplace" workshop.
Informative, engaging and interactive, with handouts and comprehensive learning materials.
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Colour 4 Everyone - the annual celebration of colour day held on 21st June.