Essential Install December 2016 - Page 40

Essential Install | CEDIA Catering for circadian rhythms promotes well-being Time To Adapt? Peter Aylett, technical director of CEDIA member, Archimedia, takes a look at the illuminating world of ‘bio-adaptive lighting’. Humans have evolved for tens of thousands of years with the daily cycle of a rising and setting sun mostly responsible for setting their internal circadian rhythm. But now, we spend most of our time indoors, where light is unnatural and doesn’t represent the lighting that our bodies need. So, what can technology do to replicate outdoor colour temperature in a way that makes people more energised when they need to be, but also sleepy when it’s time for bed? The answer – bio-adaptive lighting. How Do We Implement Bio-adaptive Lighting Into Our Projects? The Background The nature of bio-adaptive lighting is that the colour temperature of artificial light sources is being constantly managed and potentially changed by a software-driven system. These can operate either by fixed programming or via daylight tracking. Decades of research into lighting has revealed a great deal about how light affects humans. From sleep habits to productivity, from mental functions to general wellbeing, a lack of correctly timed, type and strength of light can be detrimental. It is proven that late evening light exposure delays the circadian rhythm, resulting in later sleep and wake times, while early morning light exposure advances the circadian rhythm, resulting in earlier sleep and wake times. Why Is This Important To Us? Peter says installers should open their eyes to bioadaptive lighting Lighting is an important part to our jobs, as residential projects – whether a whole home installation, or single room setting – requires a certain level of lighting. However, unlike the quality process that we go through when considering audio and video equipment and programming, the same doesn’t seem to transition into lighting design. We look at which lamps we are going to use and consider creating different lighting scenes, but we don’t think about providing a quality system that is beneficial to the homeowner. For example, did you know that blue light is beneficial for dealing with emotional challenges and moods and while most people receive enough blue light in the summer due to sunlight, they receive much less in the winter? Therefore, to combat the lack of blue light in the winter, researchers suggest adding blue light to indoor environments. Similarly, did you know that the elderlys’ sleep and wake cycles are hard to maintain if they are not exposed to daylight early in the day and sleep in a dark room at night? The principle of bio-adaptive lighting is to provide artificial light that is controlled to match the needs of human circadian rhythms in the most effective and appropriate way for a building and its users. This means that before you begin working on the lighting design, you need to fully understand who your client is and what their requirements are. There are three parts to implementing a bio-adaptive lighting system – software, hardware control and luminaire. Software Hardware Control Bio-adaptive lighting is being made possible by an abundance of sophisticated LEDs. To change colour temperature, multiple light sources need to be mixed within a single fitting. The Luminaire Apart from connected luminaires, most light fittings have no active electronics built into them. An LED (or a set, or array of red, green, and blue LEDs) needs a driver which will then be controlled with one of the above protocols. Though outwardly simple, the world of light, light quality and how it affects humans is incredibly complex. Though in its infancy, systems are now available that can deliver bio-adaptive lighting into almost any space. Over the next few years, these systems will mature and become largely standard. For the moment, however, we are early on in the growth of these technologies coming together, which means that they need expert design, installation and configuration to become a reality. CEDIA has recently released a white paper on BioAdaptive Lighting which is available on the CEDIA website white paper section. For more information on joining CEDIA, visit the association’s website at www.cedia.co.uk. Follow @ CEDIA_EMEA on Twitter, find CEDIA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CEDIA.EMEA or join the CEDIA group on LinkedIn. 38 | December 2016 CEDIA.indd 38 14/12/2016 17:08