Lights For Your Brain (Boost Brain Function)
You know how certain foods help boost brain function? Avocados, for example, are rich in fatty acids that improve your mood. And coffee transforms you from a werewolf to a functioning human in minutes.
Like avos and coffee, LED lighting can feed your brain, too. Natural and artificial light affects your behaviour, including your brain function. And an optimal lighting environment can supercharge your cognitive processes and regulate your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock).
Light influences your circadian rhythm, which in turn regulates your sleep-wake cycle—affecting everything from your mood and brain power to your chances of developing diseases. And in this deep dive into circadian lighting, we’ll explain all the different ways that LEDs can improve your cognitive function and general well-being.
It’s all about tuning your sleep-wake cycle to dance to your circadian rhythm.
Lights For When You’re SAD (Combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Let’s cancel winter
We’re a third of the way through autumn, and daylight savings is about to end. That means winter is looming, and the darkness will feel endless. Why? Because the earth’s tilt makes the days shorter and nights longer in winter.
The seasonal shift from autumn, colder weather, and lack of daylight hours can make you feel downhearted, downcast, and depressed in winter. So, it’s no surprise that light contributes significantly to your mood.
With less sunlight, your internal clock is all topsy-turvy, disrupting your circadian rhythm and your body’s serotonin production. For many, this results in a bout of the winter blues. And for 1 in 300 Australians, this can trigger SAD—a more extreme condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder that causes issues like difficulty concentrating, a loss of interest in your hobbies, and hopelessness.
Flip your frown with light
Unfortunately, we’re muggles, so we can’t wave a magic wand and adjust the earth’s tilt. What we can do, however, is introduce you to other ways to get a serving of sunshine each day:
1. Bright Light Therapy
Your retina (in your eyeballs) has cells that connect to the hypothalamus in your brain, which is the thingamajig that regulates your circadian rhythm. A common way to treat SAD is by exposing these cells to artificial light in the morning using a special light box. Exposure to 10,000 lux of light for about thirty minutes can adjust your circadian rhythm, increase sleep quality, and improve your daytime alertness.
2. Dawn Simulators
An alternative to lightboxes is dawn simulators—like a bedside alarm clock but with light. Simple, eh? Much easier to use than a light box and just as effective, dawn simulators activate thirty minutes before you intend to wake up, gradually increasing the light intensity to simulate a sunrise.
3. Tru-Colour® LEDs
In a recent study, we discovered that lights that emulate the sun could combat the effect of shorter days and less natural light on our bodies. And Brightgreen’s Tru-Colour® LEDs look and feel like we’ve bottled up the sun and plonked it into your bedroom.
Unlike bright light therapy and dawn simulators, Tru-Colour® LEDs can lift moods just by making everything look fabulous. But our LEDs also have the highest Colour Rendering Index (CRI) score on the market, so that’s the world’s best sun-like light beams, too. That’s not all. Our Tru-Colour® LEDs are intelligent superstars. Thanks to innovative Day Shift tech (more below), these smart LEDs simulate the slow rise of dawn by adjusting brightness and CCT. Think dawn simulators but on steroids. So, your spaces and faces will look up to 30% better, plus you’ll improve sleep cycles, mood, and overall sense of well-being during winter.
Lights For Your Sleep (Optimise Sleep Quality)
Sleep is crucial for literally everything. It helps with your mood. It helps with your focus. It even helps you shed kilos.
A full night’s sleep is refreshing, revitalising, and renewing. So, without uninterrupted sleep, you’re not performing at your peak. Think more McLovin in Superbad and less David Goggins.
Optimising your daily habits to create a strong circadian rhythm can improve sleep. But, most of us don’t have the time (or willpower) to shower at sub-zero temps, meditate for twelve hours, and deadlift 200 kilos. So, why not use your LEDs to adjust your circadian rhythm?
We’ve covered lights for sleep and circadian lighting in detail, but here’s another crash course to skip having a million tabs open.
You’ve got rhythm
When it comes to LED lighting, you must think about your circadian rhythm. In short, it’s your body’s 24-hour internal clock which regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Your circadian rhythm relies on environmental cues to operate. And the strongest signal that influences your rhythm is light, in any form.
Heaps of your biological functions are connected to your circadian rhythm—one of the most relevant being melatonin production (the sleep hormone). When photoreceptors on your eyeballs are exposed to darkness, it triggers melatonin production, getting you ready for sleep. And the opposite happens when light hits your eyeballs.
So, without consistent and gradual shifts in the light you’re exposed to, you’ll mess with this internal clock.
Put your thoughts to bed (Human-centric lighting)
Two words. Twenty letters. Human-centric lighting. It’s all about the right light at the right time of day.
We talk about Tru-Colour® more than your doctor talks about the weather, which in fact, is a lot. So, if you don’t know what Tru-Colour® can do, you must live in a pineapple under the sea (that’s pretty cool). Anyhoo, when you combine Tru-Colour® LEDs with our Day Shift and Night Shift® technology, the product is dynamic human-centric lighting that transitions with you throughout the day. It’s also the first and only responsive circadian lighting control on the market.
Day Shift gradually increases brightness and colour temperature (CCT) throughout your day to match your natural sleep-wake cycle. So as you wake up from dreaming about fairy floss clouds (hopefully), you’ll receive a gentle nudge with low brightness and CCT (3000K). And as you move through your day, the brightness and CCT will increase to eventually match the sun (6000K) for extra focus and energy.
When you’re ready for those ZZZs, it’s time for Night Shift® to do its thing. From 3000K, our LEDs drop down to a low and yawny 1800K so that you can drift off to a total slumber.
Lights For Your Emotions, Health & Wellness
Poor lighting environments don’t just affect your sleep and give you the winter blues.
Staying indoors, but slaying your health
Nowadays, life is so convenient. WFH. Netflix. Uber Eats. Staying indoors has never been easier. And so, it makes sense that the average person spends about 90% of their waking hours indoors.
Don’t get us wrong—we also love taking Zoom calls in our underpants and telling Karen she’s on mute. But a lack of daylight can be deadly for your well-being. If, for example, you spend your workdays in a windowless environment, you’ll get 46 minutes less sleep on those nights and experience lower-quality rest. (It’s probably also time to quit and find a job that doesn’t remind you of Shawshank Redemption.)
Another culprit is blue light. A convenient existence has come at the expense of being glued to computer screens, mobiles, and other electronic doodads—all emitting blue light. While blue light helps with memory, mood, and reaction times, excessive exposure (especially at night) can also disrupt your circadian rhythms—increasing your risk of disease.
Misfires in your emotions
We’ll add more mood and emotion in a separate article about lights influencing your mood (because there are lots to be said), but, in short, lights can hit you in the feels.
You’ve probably noticed that a bright, sunny day immediately lifts your spirits. And, as you’ve read, less sunlight sends you into a spiral of sadness. Light’s biological and psychological effects (or lack thereof) are pretty clear.
How human-centric lighting can help
As we’ve already illuminated above (get it?), Tru-Colour®, Day Shift, and Night Shift® will together deliver the right light, with the right colour temperature, when you need it the most. What’s more, human-centric lighting is not reserved for your residential spaces to help lull your little ones to sleep. Whether it’s travel lounges, retailers, entertainment theatres, fitness centres, aged care facilities or educational classrooms—there are several use cases for this human-centric, circadian lighting package.
Want to get your circadian rhythm to boogie correctly? Give us a call to start to boogie.