The current remodeling trend is toward “wellness-focused” changes to the home.
One of these changes is the replacement of the existing lighting system with a circadian lighting system.
The word “circadian” literally means “approximately a day” and is used most often in the term “circadian rhythm”. Any physical, mental or behavioral change that follows a daily cycle is a circadian rhythm.
These circadian rhythms are primarily light related. One example of a circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle of sleeping and being awake. When it’s light outside, you feel awake and alert. When it gets dark, you become drowsy and eventually fall asleep.
Circadian rhythms can also affect mood, energy level, concentration, coordination, reaction time, body temperature, blood pressure, digestion, appetite, etc.
All these functions are regulated by the natural cycle of the sun’s path across the sky.
The position of the sun determines the intensity and color of light that we are exposed to at any given time during the day.
We are all aware that the light at dawn is soft and grows brighter as the sun travels toward its highest position overhead at midday, gradually becoming dimmer again as it reaches the horizon just before sunset. This is the intensity or brightness of the sunlight.
The color “temperature” of the light changes, too.
At dawn the light is in a range of “warm” colors – amber, orange, red.
As the sun climbs toward its highest point, the light becomes a “cool” blue.
It then passes again through the “warm” range of colors as it sinks toward the horizon before nightfall.
This is followed by a period of complete darkness when most of the bodily functions slow down so that the body can rest and repair itself.
Regular exposure to this 24-hour cycle of light intensity and color is vital to the health and well-being of all living organisms.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t get this exposure.
Our homes and offices are illuminated by man-made lights and electronic devices that shine with an intense, cold light from dawn until well after dusk, if not all night long.
There is no gentle transition from dim to bright and back to dim. Nor is there a gradual color temperature change from warm to cool and back to warm again.
Sadly, exposure to artificial lighting can throw a person’s circadian rhythms out of whack, leading to a host of health-related problems.
On the bright side, the research which uncovered the above data has also led to the development of circadian lighting systems for offices and residences.
These lighting systems use the knowledge of the effects of light intensity and light color temperature to create healthier homes and workplaces through lighting.
Neuroscientists are finding that living and working in an environment using proper circadian lighting can help to reset your circadian rhythms.
This, in turn, can help you maintain a healthy sleep/awake cycle, improve your mood, help you concentrate and boost your energy.
You can create a healthier home by switching to circadian lighting.
This can be as simple as changing from standard light bulbs to circadian bulbs.
Or you can go all out and switch to a programmable circadian lighting system for your entire house.
Give Rocha Construction a call if you need help with this or any other project.