Not just a Blue Hue: LED Lighting isn’t the Enemy
How does Light Affect Sleep?
The extent that artificial lighting has on our health is not immediately obvious. Exposure to lights in our homes and workplaces has a direct and indirect way of inducing poorer sleep quality. The internal body clock, AKA the circadian system, relies on light cues to change the hormone and chemical levels that promote sleep and wakefulness. The signals to the ancient sleep centres of the brain arise from the amount of light that falls on the eye. It is not only the light intensity but rather the colouring of the light that affects us. The dangers of blue light waves emitting from our smart phones and laptops are frequent news, with consumers warned of over-usage. The National Sleep Foundation highlights that one of many major concerns of light at night is the increased risk of depression. However, not everyone is aware of the dangers in the ceiling.
The Colour Temperature of your Environments
It is possible that LED lighting in your home and work emit the sleep-delaying blue waves but this is only due to the colour temperature rather than the LED technology itself. The sky changes its primary light colour at different times of the day, with blue light being more prominent in the morning and yellow light more so in the evening, at around the time people become ready for sleep. Depending on the materials of the lightbulb and the casing of the light, the colour temperature can be determined in measurements of the Kelvin temperature scale. It ranges from warm reds to very bright blues. Typically, the lower the kelvin output the warmer the bulb will be and the better it is for sleep health.
Unfortunately for New York residents, a development made on the streets to save energy and consider the environment hasn’t been properly thought through. New York has seen their streetlights switch to LED, triggering residents to struggle with the light seeping its way through curtains. Furthermore, the blue hue reflecting off individuals inspired the comment of one resident referring to street aesthetics – “It’s like Night of the Living Dead out there”, he claims. So you can imagine how this might affect one’s sleep! Consequently, LED lighting isn’t the enemy here, it is the material choice in construction, the coatings and tints.
EGG Lighting proudly supports colour temperature design, meaning LED lights can be a positive change to your home, work and streets. It’s a shame the city didn’t give us a call before replacing 250,000 streetlights! If you want to reconsider your colour temperature – get in touch.