Ambient lighting conditions in your home can influence almost every aspect of your life from your mood to how well you sleep. After generations of evolution, our body clocks still rely on the natural cycle of sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythm. These rhythms synchronize many aspects of our physiology, especially sleep cycles. Installing dynamic lighting can help regulate circadian rhythms and help optimize health through the balancing of the sleep cycle.
Understanding Circadian Lighting
Circadian lighting changes the Kelvin rating or color temperature of indoor lights throughout the day keeping a person’s circadian rhythm balanced. In the morning the light will have a bluer hue and a greater intensity, replicating the sun at that time and helping the person wake up faster. As time moves on, the color temperature will change. In the afternoon the lighting will have a high intensity of whiter light, providing energy throughout the day. When getting into the evening hours, the lights will start dimming and the color temperature will change to a warmer amber color that match the late afternoon light of the sun. The warmer light helps the body recognize it is time to slow down and get ready to sleep.
Companies such as Delos, for example, have created circadian lighting systems for the home with wellness in mind. The system, created in a partnership with the Mayo Clinic Well-Living Lab, has preconfigured algorithms in the system that provide the home with optimal lighting conditions and automatically adapts to the location’s sun cycle. Having a circadian lighting system installed in a home will help your clients stay asleep and give them more energy throughout the day.
Installing the Delos Circadian Lighting System
The Delos circadian lighting system is an intricate full-home lighting array to help people keep on rhythm throughout the day. As more people are working from home, it is important for many people to keep their rhythm in check by using artificial lighting.
The Delos system is controlled through a tablet such as an iPad or Crestron system. The system is calibrated to the home’s GPS location, allowing the system to know exactly how to mimic the natural sunlight in that area. The lights used in the system are high-end Hue lights, which can change temperature and brightness. This allows the system to be a false sun in your home office, bedroom, or throughout the whole home.
The circadian lighting system is wired directly into the home’s existing power grid, allowing for no extra power supplies needed unless the client wants a battery backup in case of a power outage. Once installed, the system is controlled completely through the tablet provided or through an application on the client’s phone. The system can be changed if needed or if the clients want to switch up their lighting settings.
Circadian Lighting Benefits
Sleep is one of the most important factors contributing to human health and well-being. Getting healthy sleep helps regulate metabolism, strengthens memory, and regulates emotions. However, one-third of adults in the United States suffer from sleep deprivation which has led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to label the issue a public health concern.
Since our daily schedules don’t correlate with sunrise and sunset anymore, Mayo Clinic doctors suggest circadian lighting as a way to keep sleep schedules in sync with the natural day/night cycle of the sun.
Having a normally functioning circadian rhythm allows the body to secrete melatonin, the hormone which helps us sleep, at the right time. It also regulates when cortisol, the hormone that stimulates wakefulness in the morning, is released into the system.
Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic have shown implementing circadian lighting into the home improves sleep, lowers stress levels, and increases brain function.
According to Dr. Frank Scheer, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, your circadian rhythm is a product of the body clock. The main clock is located in the brain, with trillions of smaller clocks throughout the body in virtually every cell. Having your circadian rhythm disrupted puts these clocks out of sync, which can lead to multiple health issues such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and dementia. Other health problems linked to a disrupted circadian rhythm include nocturnal asthma and heart attacks.
Being aware of the effect light has on the body and having your circadian rhythm in sync is important in having a healthy lifestyle while deterring negative health events.
Adolfo Dolan is the residential sales representative at Automated Environments in Mesa, AZ. Automated Environments has been in residential/commercial audio, visual, security, and smart systems for over 25 years. Automated Environments is an HTA Certified firm.