Ever wondered why a well-lit room, or a simple walk outside on a sunny day, works so well for your mood? Or even why a dull cloudy day makes you want to sleep in all day.
The answer is light. Light is a crucial component of human health, and the quality of it as well as the exposure to it strongly determines our wellbeing. Some of the earliest studies on the effects of light on productivity at the workplace, concluded that inadequate and dim lighting in the office not only causes headaches and eyestrain but can also lower energy levels, mentally and physically. The overall efficiency reduces and workers end up losing motivation.
Right from the time we wake up to when we sleep, light can affect our health. Perhaps the most profound impact of light on our health is when it comes to regulating our circadian rhythm – the 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most important and well known circadian rhythms. And natural light has a significant impact on circadian rhythms. It therefore makes absolute sense to implement lighting solutions that are focused on our health and well being. An effective lighting system designed around natural circadian rhythms helps occupants maintain a normal sleep schedule and feel much happier and healthier.
Linea Light’s Sinfonia System includes lamps of different shapes, sizes and finishes, designed to integrate without SPIDER (radial), SNAKE (linear) or mixed compositions. The different elements are combined as “notes” on sheet music, for a“symphony” of light that thrills and becomes a protagonist of the environment
Choosing the right lighting fixtures
Before getting into the science of it, it is important to note that we don’t have to sacrifice form for function just to get good lighting. Ask any experienced interior designer and they will tell you that there are three simple points to keep in mind when choosing lighting fixtures for your space:
General or Ambient Lighting: This takes up the majority of fixtures in the room. It comes from wall-mounted or track lighting.
Accent: Used to highlight a specific focal point such as an object or art. Picture lights, wall-mounted fixtures or track lighting are common, and dimmers are often used on these features to provide mood lighting.
Task Lighting: These are used to assist you in performing or completing a specific task. It could be a desk lamp, pendant light, or even lights used in kitchens.
Artemide’s lighting embodies the sleek, contemporary and modern style of minimalism, with their range of pendant, floor and desk lamps
“The latest trend in the professional lighting arena is that fittings are becoming more and more incorporated into the infrastructure of the building, i.e. major steps are taken towards connectivity,” says André Martinsson, Commercial Manager Lighting Solutions, Fagerhult. “We have developed our own sensor ‘organic response’ that is being added to more and more of our fittings. Fagerhult and Sony introduced a smart collaboration where we package lighting control and navigation. The systems facilitate the flow in large office areas by taking advantage of existing lighting architecture, with extended functionality. Through our joint solution, we provide tools for more efficient and dynamic ways of working. It will be easier to locate both employees and vacant premises/desks to work at and free up more space for spontaneous meetings. Everything with productivity and well-being in focus.”
“Artificial intelligence and smart technologies are definitely game changers, such as when light reacts to music, human voice or temperature.” says Elie El Khoury, Managing Director at Sans Souci. “System CamWall incorporated into the LED lights responds to the movement in the room. It measures the temperature of moving objects and reflects the temperature on the glass tubes equipped with LED lights. The lights change colour based on the temperature of the person in the room. As you can imagine, this can be used in different ways, and you can play around with many different solutions for each client or building be solely for aesthetic purposes or even practical ones.”
Above from left: Sans Souci’s Vice Versa, Diamond Wall, and Flying Leaves
When you don’t have natural light
Not all of us have the luxury of having access to natural light. Some of us do, but not as much as we would like. This means that we have to rely on modern inventions and interior design techniques to make sure we’re not missing out. Light has a visual, biological and emotional effect on us, so we must implement the most appropriate artificial lighting solutions for the spaces we live and work in. There are a couple of simple ways to do this.
Perhaps the most obvious solution is to use lights that mimic natural light, or at the very least, can be an adjustment to appropriate colour and comfort levels. Dyson’s Lightcycle is an exceptional product in this category. The product’s most powerful and useful feature is its ability to intelligently track daylight and automatically adjust colour temperature and brightness throughout the day. It mimics the natural light conditions at your location to give you the best possible lighting conditions during that time of day, depending on the type of activity you’re engaged in.
Atelje Lyktan’s designs ooze elegance in design and come from a long history of skilled light manufacturing
Another simple trick is to maximise on bright colours used in your furniture and fixtures, in combination with strategically placed mirrors. This not only livens up the room but the mirrors also reflect any light around the room to make it seem brighter.
Invest in an oversized floor lamp. This is a simple decorating tip that takes advantage of large lamps to amplify the appearance of light in any space. When placed in a corner, light from the large lamp pours in and floods the room. Plus, it looks great and gives purpose to often overlooked corners.
Also very important to incorporate is the science behind basic lighting – two facts that both scientists and designers agree on. First, blue-white light is best for exposure during the day. Second, amber light is best for exposure closer to the evening, as it’s meant to mimic the setting sun.
NGA’s Harmony encompasses style, form and function, with the additional appeal of having the choice of a vast array of solid, patterned or customisable panels to create unique solutions
“Here at NGA we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the latest trends in the lighting world and 2021 has been no different,” says Justine Welch, Sales Director, UAE, No Grey Area. “We have seen some exciting new changes and trends in the industry. One of the noticeable changes is the importance of having a focal lighting piece, keeping the architectural as the background lighting. We have noticed that the move towards unique chandeliers seems to be a priority with every designer wanting to put their own take on the focal design within a space, and creating a one of a kind environment. These designs include sculptural shapes, interesting textures, or coloured glass creating styling statement pieces.”
Keep in mind that lighting has a profound impact on your mood and wellbeing, so choose and invest wisely when designing your home or office.
Lighting manufacturers NGA are particularly good at combining products that can address multiple factors within commercial and hospitality design. “This allows us to remain budget savvy,” says Justine.
Patera Oval, designed by Øivind Slaatto, is a modern take on the classic chandelier and brings a glowing focal point and soft, dynamic illumination to contemporary spaces. The glare-free, 360-degree illumination is the result of an intricate design with differently positioned cells that bathe surrounding spaces, people and objects in natural, even and flattering light
Using correct lighting to contribute to our well being as well as a sustainable environment
“Light plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability,” says Nader Fleihan, Business Development Manager IMEA, Louis Poulsen. “At Louis Poulsen, we live for this concept and our luminaire designs reflect this. Whether from an aesthetic point of view to light quality to controllability – we want to be part of humanising a space to create more comfort and wellness in all types of environments.”
Iconic Spanish brand LLadro, leverages over 60 years of experience in crafting luxury porcelain, using sculptors, painters and porcelain floral artisans who painstakingly create pieces that are the embodiment of perfection. Lladró’s lighting collection combines the elements of light and earth to create a delicate balance of creativity and rich artisanal technique. This in turn contributes to a biophilic interior that is so very needed, particularly at a time when people are confined indoors for extended periods.
“As biophilia has been a trend for some time now, and an important asset when it comes to wellness, we enjoy investigating new ways to bring the outside in, including new product options to keep designs fresh,” says Justine. NGA’s Harmony is a unique felt acoustic shade that can be coupled with many lighting options to make a statement piece. This particular product also creates shadows from the cut felt, which adds depth and warmth.” The brand has also partnered with Innerspace to offer a range of natural products, not only with moss, but also bark, brick or wood wall.
Above from left: Lladro’s Nightbloom Collection of porcelain lamps by world renowned Dutch design studio Marcel Wanders, has introduced this new version combining the purity of white porcelain with the magic touch of gold lustre dots; The Blossom Collection is inspired by nature, with clean lines and dynamic forms represented in original handmade porcelain creations; Belle de Nuit offers a neutral colour palette glammed up with gold touches and an impressive chandelier that elevates the room to a sophisticated and luxurious style
Fagerhult recently launched their new Multilime Re:think that has taken quite a serious approach to sustainability. The fittings are unique to the brand and come in solid boards, a material made of cardboard, yet maintains the same high quality of light as any of their standard fittings. More than 90 percent of the luminaire can be recycled into new materials and the rest can be recycled into energy, i.e. district heating for households. The luminaire body itself, made of Swedish natural fibre and recycled materials, is 100 percent recyclable. “By replacing the materials in the luminaire body with renewable resources, we reduce climate impact from the luminaire body by 83 perent,” says André. “And by changing the material and reducing the same, we are also cutting weight down by 32 percent and volume by 30, meaning a much less impact on shipping.”
“Wellness is linked to the environment, how we feel and engage with our surroundings,” says Elie. “Our products are made to please you – to make you feel uplifted and happy. From a sustainability perspective, our production is fully completed within the EU, including lighting chips and other materials. This is very unique within our industry and it ensures everything is in line with EU legislations, including carbon emissions, recycling processes or quality checks. We see it as an advantage also because we can not only guarantee quality but we can also react faster.”