What is your relationship with light?
Does your brain first think of the sun radiating light and heat? How it naturally influences the details of how life comes to be? The role it plays in biology, impacting the life cycle? Or does your mind automatically go to a lightbulb that radiates artificial light 24 hours, if needed?
Have you ever entertained the thought of how you see light and the chemical synapsis that takes place within the body to allow your brain to process what you are actually seeing? Regardless of what you thought of or where your thought process is currently, it is important to evaluate your personal relationship with lighting and health.
Lighting and health are directly correlated, meaning one affects the other. As human beings we need light to survive. From the air you breathe to your circadian rhythm – light impacts your overall health. Implement the following tips to improve your relationship with light and increase your overall wellness.
1 – Internal Light – the Human Glow
Humans admit light and the body actually glimmers. It goes unnoticed to the naked eye because the emission is so weak, but you have it. You actually shine.
Human bioluminescence, according to a study completed by a Japanese researchers, indicates changes within the body based on energy levels. Most living organisms actually admit weak amounts of light which is caused by the biochemical reactions within molecules.
As you are attracted to light, it can draw us together making this world codependent. Additionally, human beings have an innate desire to connect or feel connection one with another. In nurturing relationships and allowing yourself to feel a sense of belonging you may seek emotional safety.
Benefits of internal light:
- Improves mood – Benefit from connecting with others. Increase your mood by interacting in social settings and reduce depression or anxiety. Exposure to light can make you feel happier, as it produces serotonin.
- Behavioral changes – Establishing a positive physical environment and circumstances will directly influence your health.
- Expands social relations – Create more valuable human connections as you foster nurturing qualities throughout your social circle. Connecting with others around you by being present in the moment.
2 – Optimize Your Mind
Light obviously affects your vision, but it also impacts other functions within the body and mind like how balanced your circadian rhythm, internal or biological clock is.
Colors of light stimulate the brain in different ways; affecting the hormones and chemicals produced including serotonin. This feel-good chemical will influence basic mental function, your overall mood, and emotions.
Your visual system processes light at a faster rate than your circadian rhythm and even uses different forms. Neurobiological and physiological systems are also altered by exposure to light.
When you are thinking of lighting and health, understanding basic light functions will help you with brain responses and in establishing a positive visual environment. Artificial lighting can disrupt your rhythm making it difficult to stay alert throughout the day.
Benefits of optimizing your mind:
- Higher productivity – Having the ability to focus intensely on a task by having a clear mind will make you more productive. Efficient and effective task management can help in improving your daily health.
- Ability to focus – Improve your mental function and ability to focus by reducing the amount of artificial light you are exposed to.
- Improved alertness – Become more alert as you expose yourself to brighter light during the day, balancing your circadian rhythm, and sleep in darkness.
3 – See the Sun, Every Day
Lighting is required for your circadian rhythm, biological clock, to work. As humans, the proper amount of vitamin D can only be achieved by receiving 20-30 minutes of sunlight daily. Supplements and specific specialized diets can help in boosting vitamin D levels, but do not allow the body to receive all that it needs to improve health.
The sun releases multiple colors of light, one of which is blue light even though it appears to be white or yellow when observing with the naked eye.
As the sun moves across the sky and depending on the time of day, the amount of visible blue light will fluctuate – making it so there is more blue light when the sun is at the highest point in the sky and less blue light when the sun is setting. This is particularly important when evaluating the visible spectrum of light and comparing wavelengths to energy.
To maintain a natural rhythm, light variation can be valuable because it will help you re-set or become more in sync with your biological clock. Evaluate the pattern of the sun and set your routine to mimic it, as best you can.
Benefits of sunlight:
- Effective pain management techniques – Exposure to sunlight can help you manage pain, recover more quickly, and minimize the number of painkillers you need because of the chemicals produced in the brain.
- Helps you sleep – Sunlight helps your body produce melatonin, making it easier for you to fall asleep and get more sleep.
- Improved mindfulness and self-care – Reconnecting with nature by getting up and going outside can help you improve your physical health, making you discover deeper self-worth and become aware of what is around you.
4 – Light Blocking Glasses
Sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can be damaging to your eyesight if exposed to large amounts. UV rays have higher energy than visible light.
Being more than a fashion accessory, sunglasses can block up to 100% of ultraviolet rays. Additionally, if you are inside, blue light glasses can filter out blue light being emitted when looking at a screen for a long period of time.
Minimal exposure to natural blue light is helpful and can contribute to overall wellness; however, artificial blue light can create eye strain and long-term damage depending on the dosage.
Benefits of light blocking glasses:
- Benefits vision – Reduce the risk of developing eye diseases by wearing protective gear.
- Minimize mental irritation – When changing visual tasks throughout the day whether you are working on a computer or viewing a smart phone it can be difficult to adjust to the amount of light provided. Supplement the type of light you are looking at with artificial and natural light to reduce mental irritation.
- Reduce eyestrain – Blocking your eyes from the sun or filtering out blue light can reduce or eliminate eye strain making it so you can focus longer.
5 – Home Lighting Improvements
Improve your relationship with lighting and health as you establish a sense of coziness throughout your home. Turn the lights down or work natural lighting options into your floor plan.
Hygge, a Danish Principle, can be implemented by purchasing or upgrading lighting fixtures throughout your space with ones reflecting the movement and position of the sun.
Travel back in time as you prioritize simplicity by lighting candles in the evening or snuggling up by the fireplace, emitting lower light throughout the room. Change out traditional light bulbs for LED lighting options to increase durability or add a dimmer to each light switch. I possible, install a skylight as it can provide heat and bring natural light into any space.
Benefits of home lighting improvements:
- Enhance sensory experiences – Using candlelight or fire light at night will help your body wind down as you prepare to sleep. Dimming the lights in a defined space can also set a specific mood in a room.
- Creates a comfortable environment– physically enjoying your home and space can help you feel calm and at peace.
- Energy efficiency – Implementing small changes throughout our home can help you save money on your electricity bill long-term, relieving stress.
Find out what will help you have a positive relationship with lighting and health as they go hand in hand. Not only do living organisms have a deep need for light, but you do too. Whether you bask in the sunlight or implement Hygge lighting throughout your home, apartment, or workplace — there are many ways to improve your relationship with light.
York Lighting is your guide to wellness. We implement Hygge, a Danish and lighting science principle, by offering lighting fixtures which reflect the natural light cycle and help make your home a happy and peaceful place to live. Enjoy a happier and healthier life by let us help you improve or upgrade the lighting in your home or office.
Visit a showroom near you or add your favorite lighting designs to your personalized wishlist on our website to improve your lighting and health.