Artificial Lighting And Smart Lighting in Winter

As the days shorten and Winter approaches, the diminishing natural light affects not only our daily routines but also casts an unwanted shadow on our health and mental wellbeing.

Natural light exposure has a positive impact on circadian rhythms, mood, and general health. The importance of natural light exposure is frequently highlighted by healthcare professionals. Is natural light something we can artificially replicate, and how can the use of Lutron products achieve simulated natural light in living spaces? We look into artificial lighting and smart lighting to see how you can improve your wellbeing this Winter.

The Impact Of Winter Gloom  

The reduction in natural sunlight hours during the Winter months has major adverse effects on humans. From providing crucial levels of vitamin D through to regulating circadian rhythms, sunlight plays a vital role in human health.   

Smart Office Lighting Experts (1)

During Winter months healthcare providers have seen an increase in vitamin D deficiency, mental wellbeing concerns and severe disruptions to circadian rhythms in patients, leading to increased insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns. The disruption of sleep patterns contributes to mood changes and overall disturbances in the body’s daily physiological cycles. You may notice during the Winter months that your energy levels reduce, your ability to partake in physical activities decreases and you see an increase in lethargy.  

How can natural light reduction affect me? 
  • Impairs mood and productivity  
  • Increases risk of sleep disorders  
  • Increase risk of mental illness such as; anxiety and depression 
  • Alters melatonin levels  
  • Reduces vitamin D  
  • Increases risk of developing Seasonal Affective Disorder 
  • Has negative impacts on eye health  
  • Has been reported to have negative impacts on the cardiovascular system 

With the increased documentation of detrimental effects on the human body, healthcare professionals are beginning to explore the use of artificial lighting to combat the adverse effects of seasonal light changes.  

What Is Artificial Light? 

Unlike natural sunlight, artificial light is man-made and created for various purposes. In previous years artificial lighting was mainly used for illumination and aesthetic purposes, however, healthcare professionals have now begun to use artificial lighting to treat health issues such as Seasonal Affective Disorder or “SAD” as it is commonly known.  

Common types of artificial lighting include: 
  • Incandescent bulbs 
  • LED lighting  
  • Halogen lamps 
  • Full-spectrum lighting  
  • Light boxes 

While light boxes and full-spectrum lighting is often used to treat patients suffering with SAD, there are multiple ways artificial light can be utilised to mimic natural light and in turn treat issues faced by season lighting.  

How can artificial lighting help: 
  • Enhances mood and wellbeing  
  • Regulates the body's circadian rhythm 
  • Improved productivity and alertness  
  • Energy efficient  
  • Fosters a connection with the outdoors by mimicking natural light  
  • Enhancing learning environments  
  • Reduces risk of mental illness 

Making Your Days Brighter  

To avoid the adverse effects of early dark nights and dull days you can implement measures to create a lighter, more vibrant living space. From creating a brighter environment to embracing outdoor activities during the day, you can ease the negative impacts of reduced sunlight and darker seasons, even with the flick of a switch.  

Bright light
Artificial natural lighting

We all know to increase exposure to vitamin D we must partake in outdoor activities during sunlight hours, and although this does positively impact health and wellbeing, what can we do during the darker hours to continue to improve wellness?  

  • Brighten your environment  
  • Use dimmers to control lighting within your space  
  • Use warm lighting  
  • Reduce the use of blue lights during the evening  
  • Maximise natural light within your living space  
  • Use daylight mimicking blubs  
  • Implement timed lighting solutions  
  • Be mindful of what lighting to use depending on the time of day 

Lutron: Battling Seasonal Light Issues  

Over the years here at Liv. we have included Lutron lighting systems within multiple projects ranging from private homes to commercial spaces around the world. 

Lutron offers top-tier, efficient lighting solutions that effectively combat the negative impacts of seasonal lighting. From smart lighting controls through to colour tuning and automated daylight harvesting, Lutron provides comprehensive lighting solutions for homes or office and hospitality spaces. So how do our team use Lutron's artificial lighting and smart lighting features in projects?

Our team have utilised Lutron’s colour temperature and colour tuning abilities to create warm, inviting living spaces that mimic natural light exposure and automatically adjust throughout the day depending on natural light exposure. With the use of automated changes and colour temperature tuning, the use of Lutron products in our projects helps to simulate the natural changes in lighting. This in turn promotes circadian rhythm regulation, which in turn enables good sleep hygiene. With the lighting control system your body will naturally know when it is time to switch off.  

The use of Lutron products is also energy efficient. The ability to use automated daylight harvesting means the use of artificial light is automatically adjusted based on the amount of natural light available. This feature means you reduce your exposure to artificial light and prioritise your exposure to natural light, after all who needs artificial when you can have the real thing? 

Lutron lighting
Lutron artificial smart lighting

With Lutron, you can even automate sequences and create schedules to suit your artificial lighting requirements. For some clients we have provided them with the ability to create lighting sequences, which illuminate their spaces with different scenarios. Looking to dim the light and make the tone warmer ready to unwind before bed? You can do this at the click of a button. Or maybe you are looking to stay alert whilst in your office space, you can make tones cooler using the control panel or even automate this for working hours thanks to the sequences option. 

Although healthcare professionals recommend some exposure to artificial lighting, we know this may also reduce the amount of natural light within your space. Lutron’s automated shading paired with the natural light sensors can be used to monitor the amount of natural light within your living or work space and optimise your exposure to artificial lighting, reducing your reliance on artificial lighting when you don’t need it. 

How Can Liv. Help You? 

We take pride in collaborating with Lutron, specialising in creating vibrant and naturally illuminated living environments that enhance your health and wellbeing. If you face challenges in accessing natural light and are interested in exploring how automated artificial lighting and smart lighting can brighten your Winter days, reach out to our team.

Stay connected with our social media channels to discover the positive impact lighting can have on your mental health and overall wellbeing. 

liv smart newsletter