You are probably aware of how drastically travelling through different time zones or working night shifts can confuse your inner (circadian) clock. The explanation of this phenomenon lies in five photoreceptors building a complex grid in the retina, which communicates with the part of our brain that regulates our circadian rhythm. Its discovery confirmed the long-suspected relationship between our sense of wellbeing and light.
Daylight is living and dynamic – constantly shifting in intensity, brightness and color.
The amount and quality of light recorded by the grid of receptors in your retina and communicated to your brain affects the balance in your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin and the stress hormone cortisol. Melatonin production increases when light levels are lower and in the dark, at nighttime, while cortisol production increases when light levels are high, at daytime. Too little daylight can affect your sleep, increase your stress levels and cause mood swings, especially noticeable during the winter months.
The allure of daylight is its natural diversity. It is living and dynamic – constantly shifting in intensity, brightness and color. Your body interprets these signals and you feel well and alert. The challenge in creating good indoor lighting – in offices, malls, restaurants or other public places – is to simulate the dynamics of natural daylight. Electric lighting easily adapts to offer variations in intensity, brightness and color, meeting the needs of different people in various situations, including vibrant illuminated environments for offices, schools and retail venues or calm, relaxing and soothing lighting in hospitals and care center environments.