Natural lighting is, simply put, a lighting source that closely replicates the natural sunlight.
Until 100 years ago, a majority of the world’s population worked outdoors under the natural sunlight. Today, we work indoors under artificial lights. However, changing work patterns have not changed the human need for balanced, natural light.
Natural light is necessary for our health and well-being. We work and live better under natural lighting conditions, and this article will explain why.
What is natural light?
Natural light, like sunlight in its pure form, has a colour temperature of around 5,000K and a natural full spectrum of light. This means that all the colours in the spectrum combine to produce a blue-white light.
In comparison, artificial lighting produces a warmer colours with a yellowish tinge, or bright white light that actually lack certain light frequencies. Standard lighting actually appears yellow when compared to natural spectrum lighting.
Benefits of Natural Light
Poor lighting caused by insufficient light, glare, improper contrast, poorly distributed light, and flicker, can cause health problems including eye discomfort, eye strain, fatigue, migraines, lower productivity, lower concentration and in more serious cases, deteriorated vision. In short, bad lighting is hazardous to our health and safety at home and in the workplace.
Experts have found that natural light has the following benefits:
- reduces eye strain and improves sight as a result of very sharp contrast and improved colour rendering
- increase body’s vitamin D, which helps to regulate immune system, maintain body weght and control asthma symptoms
- improved mood levels
- enhanced mental awareness, concentration and productivity
- better sleep
- improved immune system
- higher energy levels
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression caused by lack of sunlight)
- Improvement of concentration and performance in school children
How does natural light work to provide us with all these benefits?
Natural sunlight has a significant impact on our emotional wellbeing. Ever noticed how your mood instantly lifts when you're out in the warm sun? It's because sunlight actually helps to stimulate the synthesis of endorphine (hormones that make us feel good and happy!). That's why we get depressed in the cold and darker days of winter. Sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are often recommended to go through light therapy where they expose themselves to natural daylight or full spectrum light for a prescribed amount of time.
Natural light is also better for our vision. Because they have a full spectrum of light, natural light produces high brightness and provides even and cool illumination. Full spectrum lighting gives you better clarity, better sharpness, and true colours so for applications like painting, colouring, sewing, reading and photography, natural light is the best option. Reading, working and doing any task with natural lighting is much more comfortable and not damaging to your eyes.
Natural light is flicker-free and glare-free, so it does not cause eye strains, migraine or fatigue, like most artificial lighting do. Although the human eye cannot notice the flicker in lights, our sensory system can detect it, causing headaches, eye strain, and general eye discomfort.