Circadian lighting effects on health and wellbeing

Lighting is a key aspect of the indoor environment and evaluations of this environment need to take into account the potential for improvements based around controllable lighting. Research has shown that exposure to light, particularly blue light, can alter the body’s circadian clock (i.e. the natural, internal system that is designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period). The lighting industry has started to market circadian lighting, which uses tunable (most commonly LED) white light sources that can adjust their light spectrum and intensity to help maintain correct timing of the circadian clock of the occupants in a space. Brighter and/or cooler lighting is used to improve alertness during the day or during working hours, then it is changed to lower brightness and/or warmer colour when it is time to relax. However, research investigating the effects of circadian lighting systems on health and well-being under real-world conditions is still scarce.

It is expected that the project will provide fundamental insights into the basic principles of setting appropriate control strategies for circadian lighting so that occupant health and wellbeing are at their optimum across seasons. Therefore, the project will support the Health & Wellbeing growth area by providing evidence-based knowledge and information that can be applied both in future research, and in commercial projects for clients in various sectors including commercial, healthcare, education, housing, industrial and others.

Bre has the  results of the circadian lighting research and also a 1 hour webinar on Circadian Lighting.