Able to simulate daylight and dusk and develop a deeper connection with the outdoors, Human-Centric Lighting offers an exciting new approach to home lighting.Of all the amenities in a home, lighting can have the most impact on design, ambiance and even your sense of well-being. Set at the appropriate brightness and color temperature, lighting can accentuate the architectural features of your home while affecting your mood and well-being. Smart lighting has the ability to touch every part of our lives in some very positive ways, and the continual evolution of LED lighting technology is largely responsible. LED lighting has also introduced a new approach to lighting design, called Human-Centric Lighting, or HCL*. Able to simulate daylight and dusk and develop a deeper connection with the outdoors, Human-Centric Lighting offers an exciting new approach to home lighting.
Human-Centric Lighting Brings the Outdoors Inside
The objective of Human-Centric Lighting is to enhance the human experience, in particular, to satisfy our craving for natural sunlight. This involves advanced lighting solutions that simulate the shifting color spectrum and intensity of light throughout the day. This simulated natural light seamlessly blends with daylight, so you can start your day with bright, energizing light, and wind down with the same warm evening glow that you would experience outdoors as the sun starts to set.
HCL has also become a cornerstone of biophilic design: technologies specially configured to facilitate a close connection with the outdoors, even while you’re inside the home. The biophilic approach has evolved over the years—it was previously focused on enhancing a space with natural materials (i.e. wood, stone, etc.), greenery, and colors, textures, and patterns found in nature. Today it has been elevated through HCL, which enables the interior space to feel flooded with natural light, regardless of proximity to windows. Simulating the daily progression of sunlight with indoor light fixtures has further blurred the lines between indoors and outdoors to help indoor occupants feel more connected to nature.
How Modern LED Lighting Solutions Deliver HCL
The simulation of sunlight throughout the day is achieved through "tunable light" with a dynamic color spectrum. Visible light is composed of a spectrum of colors that range across the “rainbow” of colors and includes white light – which is a combination of various color wavelengths. Most LED or fluorescent lights can produce only a single color temperature, limiting homeowners to that one color – and even incandescent lighting, which can “warm” in color as it dims, is not tunable.
Innovative LED lighting companies now offer dynamic spectrum lighting, which allows light to be tuned across the visible spectrum of colors and enables a wide range of whites, pastels, and saturated colors to be created from a single light source.
HCL—The Next Generation of Smart LED Lighting
Research has demonstrated the effect that natural light can have on our sense of well-being, and how tailored lighting can transform our perception of a space and everything within it. Both natural light and custom lighting scenes provide solutions to optimize a space, whether mimicking shifting sunlight throughout the day or adding bright white morning light to a space before the sun has risen to help energize and kick-start your day.
Once homeowners, architects, and designers experience the impact of dynamic lighting, they find it hard to return to static lighting.Tunable light can create dramatic effects with artwork, too. Subtle, nearly imperceptible changes in the lighting's color spectrum can make the art look more dramatic, bringing focus to certain colors within the art and invoking an entirely different feel. Once homeowners, architects, and designers experience the impact of dynamic lighting, they find it hard to return to static lighting.
Bringing Human-Centric Lighting Into the Home
Advanced lighting solutions make it easy to implement Human-Centric Lighting in a home, where it is possible to program an automated scene that progresses throughout the day – reducing artificial blue light in the evening and mimicking the patterns of real sunlight with a warm evening glow, for example.
But HCL solutions go beyond simulated natural light, offering endless possibilities for customizations that fit each homeowner’s preferences. Curated content provides alternate or additional settings that illuminate specific activities and moods, enabling lighting scenes to fit any homeowner’s lifestyle.
Examples of Human-Centric Lighting applications beyond the simulation of natural light cycles include:
- Setting the mood. Lighting set at a bright level and cool light temperature and intensity can energize a morning shower or late-night work session; warm and dim lighting can set the scene for a relaxing evening bath after a long day at the office.
- Anticipating real-world lighting when getting ready. Lighting conditions can transform beauty and fashion statements, and help optimize grooming routines. The ability to adjust the lighting in anticipation of a range of activities whether a candlelit dinner, mid-afternoon board meeting or sunset walk, can help put you in the right frame of mind.
- Creating drama or a festive atmosphere. Custom lighting scenes can dynamically create layers of light that create the perfect atmosphere for hosting and celebrating – whether it’s highlighting artwork and decorative objects, accenting a space with saturated colors for a party, or recalling scenes that create depth and drama in a multi-purpose room.