Circadian Lighting

Lighting for health & productivity

Circadian Lighting, or adaptive lighting, is the future of lighting for health and wellbeing. It is lighting that has a biological impact on our circadian system.

It mimics natural daylight and night-time light patterns through naturally increasing our melatonin levels. It provides a strong daytime light signal giving our brain the signal to perform all the functions it needs to during the day. And then light reduces as we head towards night-time to prepare our body to be able to go to sleep and perform night-time functions.

How it works

Light is made up of wavelengths of light, and each wavelength is a particular colour. There are seven visible colours.

Spectrum Hauora circadian lighting light spectrum

The different wavelength colours impact our mood, alertness, and health. The colours that have the most physical and mental impact on our health are blue, red, and green.

Colour Effect
Blue Light Blue Light or short wave is what triggers our morning circadian rhythm though Melanopsin sensors in the eye and shuts down Melatonin production. This is the sleep hormone. With melatonin production stopped it tells our bodies to stay alert and prevents us going to sleep.
Red Light Pure RED spectrum stimulates adrenalin as our brains react to it as a sign of danger. This causes us to be alert for a limited period of time.
Green Light Ongoing investigations suggest that green light seems to have a positive mood effect but only for half an hour.

LED and possibilities of adaptive or circadian lighting

LED is already digital. It means we can multi circuit lighting and ‘blend’ different colours together to achieve different outcomes based on our knowledge of how the different colour wavelengths affect the human body.

For example, increasing the blue spectrum would solve the problem of alertness but impacts our circadian rhythm as it lowers melatonin levels (sleep hormone) and can prevent falling asleep. Pure red light is good as it would stimulate for short periods of time without negatively impacting our circadian rhythm.

Adaptive lighting lets us mimic natural lighting by changing the blue and red light components to achieve health and productivity benefits through increased profits because of employee wellbeing.


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