The Power of Light for Wellbeing
Light might not be the first thing we consider when walking into a room, but it has a huge influence on how we feel in that space. Hannah Feldman, Content Manager at Senic GmbH, shows in her article that in the age of technology, we have more methods than ever before to improve our health, relationships and creativity using the right lighting controls.
Light is an essential element in creating spaces that enhance our daily life. As the seasons change, adapting our lighting can make all the difference in creating in the warm, relaxed setting at home that we need after a dreary winter day. It’s a fundamental building block of the home and in the age of technology, we have more methods than ever before to create the perfect environment using the right controls.
How do humans perceive light?
The ability to see is actually a function of light. Your eyes take in information about your environment in the form of light waves, sending signals to your brain so you can see shapes, colors, texture and movement. Your brain then uses this information to form an understanding of your surroundings – and triggers your body to react accordingly.
That’s why light has such a huge impact on our daily physiological and psychological functions – and how we interact with each other. Although light might not be the first thing we consider when walking into a room, it has a major influence on how we feel and interact with others in a space.
Have you ever noticed how beautiful red wine looks in a well-lit restaurant? The candlelight reflects through the glass, sparkling and accentuating the ruby tones, enhancing the sensory experience of each sip. This has little to do with the price of the bottle, but rather the spell the light is casting.
Often restaurant designers such as Craig Stanghetta create spaces with warm, dimmed lighting to create a dreamscape where a patron “feels like the most charming, attractive version of themselves”. The moment you walk through the door – before the host says hello, or you taste the food or hear the music – the level of illumination sends a signal if this is a place that’s welcoming us to unwind and indulge.
From there, the conversations we have around the table, how we experience our food and our perceptions of the evening are all directly influenced by the way the restaurant is lit.
You can create the same atmosphere at home by using certain lighting techniques for each moment.
The types of light you have, how they are distributed and your ability to control them all play a role in setting the tone for relaxation, creativity, intimacy and more.
Dimmed lighting helps us relax by telling our brain it’s time to wind down from the day. Warm-toned light settings bring us closer together by facilitating conversations and putting us at ease (while cold lighting has the opposite effect). The way lighting is distributed even plays a role in how attractive the room and the people in it appear.
From the time you walk in the door to the moment you drift off to sleep, your brain is receiving and interpreting signals from your lights at home. Controlling your light settings is therefore key in moderating the atmosphere of your space and mastering the effect that the lighting has on you and your loved ones.
The ability to adjust the brightness and hue based on the time of day and situation at hand gives you the flexibility to set the perfect mood in every instance. However, fiddling with dials and dimmers – or even worse, pulling out your smartphone – distracts from special moments that really matter.
No one wants to take the time to dig batteries out of the junk drawer or wait for a device to charge just so you can turn on the lights.
Self-powered wireless switches like Nuimo Click are the most convenient alternative because they can be mounted anywhere and don’t require any batteries or installation. Thanks to EnOcean’s energy harvesting technology, each time you press Nuimo Click, it generates enough energy to send a wireless signal to the Hub, which then communicates with Philips Hue. This means you can turn on the lights, dim the brightness or set a custom lighting all with a single click. And you help saving the environment by avoiding the use and waste of batteries – simply by using your fingertips.
Simple, hassle-free control over lights can help make the most of every moment at home: from creative time to yourself to festive celebrations when everyone comes together – and all the micro-moments in between.
Stay tuned for the next post, where we’ll dive deeper into user interfaces, and how you can easily control smart lighting without using your phone.
Hannah Feldman is Content Manager at Senic GmbH, a Berlin-based hardware startup building the next generation of smart home interfaces and systems. As a writer and designer, Hannah is a spirited advocate for breaking down the system of digital distraction and promoting products that are designed for human wellbeing. The topic was also published in the Senic Journal.