Is there a design term with more shades of meaning than “human centric lighting”? A query on Google yields 7.4 million results, give or take a few hundred thousand.
For growing numbers of lighting designers and the clients they work with, understanding what human centric lighting is--and isn’t--is at the heart of an office’s transformation. While the research is still formative, initial studies report gains in worker productivity that are measurable, significant, and repeatable. One European investigation claims productivity improvements equivalent to two more hours a month. Multiplied over a workforce population, that represents a spectacular payback.
Holistic Approach Supports Lighting Designer Creativity and Customized Solutions
So what is human centric lighting? Some say it’s related to our circadian clock, the body’s natural response to the ebb and surge of solar light. Just last year the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine was awarded to researchers who study molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythm.
However, other lighting design experts argue a circadian-based understanding is far too narrow, and that human centric lighting must be understood holistically. Who has control to change the lighting of a space? Or a workstation? How do you mitigate glare without sacrificing a window view? How do you seamlessly blend daylight with artificial light to lift worker comfort and productivity while reducing energy expense?
A non-prescriptive, non-standardized holistic approach to human centric lighting plays to the strength of the lighting designer. It frees the lighting designer to use their creativity, training, and talent to customize a lighting solution unique to the client’s requirements.
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