It sounds like the stuff of science fiction novels, but the idea behind Human Centric Lighting is simple: We need light for both visual and non-visual reasons. And, we need it delivered in a healthy way: Negative effects such as glare can damage human sight with prolonged exposure.
HCL acknowledges that our brains are affected by light in two ways. First, we need it to see—our brain uses light along the visual path that helps us to determine images. Here’s a few quick tips: Clear, or neutral, white light helps improve our concentration. Aim for a color temperature of around 4,100K. Warm, or yellowish, white light is relaxing and helps us sleep better. The goal color temperature is around 2,700K.
Daylight white light is energizing, making it great for a gym or a tennis court- but skip it for your toddler’s bedroom. That color temperature should be above 5,000K.
Next, we need light to adjust our body clocks. Light indicates the time of day and our immediate need—and our bodies will emit hormones accordingly.
Understanding HCL and the effect the color rendering index on mood is nothing new, but thanks to the innovations of LED lights, we are better able to experiment with the effects of light on our mood, energy level, health, sleep quality, and comfort.