Lighting Health and Wellness in 2019

Wellness Takes Lead in Consumer Focus for 2019

From the foods we eat to the tech gadgets we buy, improving health has been a key driver in consumer decisions over the past few years — and the trend is only getting stronger for 2019. Consumers are choosing the products they buy, the vacations they take, and the hobbies they engage in according to how it all affects their well-being. Optimizing for health and wellness has also shaped how consumers think about the spaces in which they live and work, giving closer attention to designing for their biological needs. Because of the irreplaceable importance of natural light for our health, demand for circadian lighting is expected to grow as consumers continue to search for solutions to healthy living.

Tech for optimal sleep

Over the past few years, consumers have given more and more attention to the quality of their sleep and have looked to various forms of technology to improve it. Sleep tracking devices, blue-light screen filters or blue-light blocking glasses, white noise playlists, and sleep meditation apps are some of the many wellness tools that have been sought after by consumers. Now, designing their environments for better sleep is gaining momentum in 2019, and circadian lighting is one strategy that will play a key role.

Almost every facet of human life is dependent on the sun’s energy, including our sleeping patterns. Circadian rhythms — our biological rhythms that are driven by the body’s internal clock and regulate healthy activity such as proper sleep— take their cues from the sun. When we do not receive enough daylight, our internal clock does not receive the signals we need to sustain healthy and regular circadian rhythms, this can lead to negative health issues including disrupted or inconsistent sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep has also been associated with a phenomena known as social jet lag. Social jet lag happens when our internal clock and social requirements do not align — a recent study showed that 87% of day-working people suffer from some form of social jet lag which has been shown to increase the likelihood of a variety short and long-term negative health outcomes including increased risk of heart disease, metabolic disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and even ADHD in children. Circadian lighting that includes an optimized spectrum, such as BIOS SkyBlue® technology, bring the circadian benefits of the sun to your indoor environment and can help mitigate social jet lag by providing the natural blue sky wavelengths not found in traditional electric lighting and provide those essential signals our bodies need to support healthy circadian rhythms. Given the significant amount of time we spend indoors without access to sufficient daytime light signals, circadian lighting becomes a crucial component to improving our health and the quality of our built environments.

Workplace design for wellness

In 2019, employers are also increasing their focus on improving wellness in the workplace, and lighting is one of the key considerations in designing for health. Biophilia, the concept that people have a natural inclination to seek connections with nature, is also a popular driver when designing high quality, restorative, work spaces intended to help employees focus and improve their sense of well-being. Including plants indoors is one biophilic strategy as well as access to views. While views to outside are very important, access to daylight can be challenging, therefore providing electric lighting that offers the biological benefits of daylight should also be considered. Bringing the outside in and offering the light signals our bodies need is critical to help support healthy circadian rhythms. Incorporating subtle visual cues that help trigger our perception and recall nature are expected to become a more common trend as well. For example, using lighting technology that provides key frequencies of light to help stimulate our circadian system and integrating lighting into spaces in creative ways to allow for a variety of light levels throughout the workplace, providing the possibility of choice and variety for employees.

Healthy travel

While fitness has always been a theme in travel, it continues to grow in popularity and hotels are taking note. Many luxury hotels are sought after for their rejuvenating spas or yoga and meditation sessions. Consumers are not only looking for activities and experiences that encourage wellness, but they are becoming ever more mindful in how the space in which they rest affects their wellbeing.

Hotels, corporate offices, and other facilities that have implemented the latest technology for optimizing health will have an enticing edge that meets customer needs. Circadian lighting in indoor spaces is a key driver to our well-being.It is intended to help provide the daytime light signals many of us lack due to excessive amounts of time spent indoors under insufficient electric lighting. True circadian lighting technology includes key wavelengths of light that our bodies need (and would historically have received from the sun) in interior environments. Among its many benefits, circadian lighting may improve sleep quality and overall well-being, as well as increase productivity.

The BIOS SkyBlue® Benefit

BIOS SkyBlue lighting technology works by communicating directly with human circadian biology through the ipRGC—a newly discovered non-visual photoreceptor in the eye—and provides the natural sky blue wavelength of light not found in traditional lighting technology, stimulating a biological response to support a more robust and healthy circadian system. Essentially, BIOS SkyBlue technology incorporates spectrally-optimized lighting that includes the key wavelengths found in sunlight, to help people synchronize their circadian clocks and support the body’s evolutionary needs to promote better health. BIOS SkyBlue lighting is designed to promote circadian health and mitigate negative health outcomes associated with circadian disruption.

BIOS SkyBlue technology can also be used to achieve the Circadian Lighting Design Feature in the WELL Building Standard and is being integrated into a variety of light fixtures offered by leading commercial lighting manufacturers. Just look for the “Illuminated by BIOS” icon or ask your local lighting sales representative for BIOS LED lighting with SkyBlue® Technology.

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