Impact of Light
Everyone experiences light – without it we cannot see. In fact, 80% of all information acquired by humans is through our visual sense. But the power of light transcends our sense of sight. Light can impact our mind, our perceptions, our emotions, and our overall well-being.
The eye acts as a sensory receptor, allowing us to perceive the stimuli of a light source.
Hormonal processes and melatonin production are influenced, regulating our natural daily activities and circadian rhythm.
Sensory information is processed by the brain, affecting our well-being and concentration.
The simplest example of the effects of light can be demonstrated by nature – the sun. We can see and feel the light of the sun, and we understand that it allows us to see the world around us. However the biological effects of the sun are also numerous. The sun delivers ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which allows synthesis of Vitamin D, and infrared (IR) radiation that strengthens our bodies’ immune systems. Daylight also impacts our circadian rhythm, regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
Much of our daily lighting does not come from the sun, however. Indoors and after dark, we use artificial lighting to stimulate our senses. There are other consequences of light that also impact our visual, biological and emotional senses. Glare is of particular concern because it can result in loss of concentration, increased mistakes and fatigue.
With the impacts of light in mind, take a moment to pause and consider the lighting around you right now. How does it make you feel? Is it warm or cool? Is it energizing or calming? Now consider whether you would want the same lighting conditions in a different scenario. Consider the light you would want while reading a book at home versus being out having dinner with friends. Consider the lighting in an office as opposed to a retail store. Light creates an environment in a way that nothing else can.