Melanopic light makes people feel good
It's not enough to have lighting that makes it easy to see and work. A truly excellent lighting environment also supports human circadian rhythms.
Measuring light brightness in various ways
Light is measured in lux. This unit is used to describe how much light strikes a specific area or is present in a room. But did you know that there are different types of lux? Traditionally, lux has always referred to what is known as photopic lux. Photopic lux is the light amount critical for vision, the light required for us to see well and perform our tasks. However, as research has taught us more about the non-visual, biological effects of light, a whole new concept has emerged in lighting design.
Melanopic lux affects the circadian rhythm
Melanopic lux is the unit used to measure how light affects the receptors that control our biological circadian rhythm. The quantity and spectral composition of the light we are exposed to have a significant impact on both our sleep and our well-being when we are awake. It all originates from how humans are influenced by the light from the sky and the sun when outdoors. White light with high colour temperature and intensity increases the release of stress hormones and makes us more alert – just like a clear and sunny morning. The "melanopic" light created with electric lighting follows the natural light's spectral distribution within the wavelengths that affect our biological system. In this way, it can help support the circadian rhythm.
For environments centred around people
Our circadian rhythm benefits from routines, which is why lighting planned with melanopic lighting intensities is especially effective in environments where we spend time regularly and for extended periods, such as offices or schools. Healthcare environments like hospitals, psychiatric clinics, and care facilities are examples where both patients and healthcare staff's health benefits from a functioning circadian rhythm.