Blue light has been a subject of much discussion over recent years. Initiated by the discovery of a novel photoreceptor in the eye, research has uncovered a much greater understanding of the function of the eye as a non-visual organ. However, it is not simply the amount of blue light that is significant, rather the full spectral content of the light emitted. In addition, the intensity, direction and duration of the light received at the eye play very important roles.
The correct light quality and quantity can support health and wellbeing in the workplace, improving circadian response and alertness by melatonin suppression. Correct light at night can improve sleep patterns which is now recognised as a critical factor in human health. Lighting now includes the additional discipline of anthropology, uncovering important influences that circadian lighting has on our bodies.
The importance of good lighting
The spectral distribution of light, as well as the blue light emission wavelength, are the keystone to good lighting. The correct balance of melanopic response to visual response provides for high melanopic ratios (MR) at comfortable colour temperatures. High MRs during the daytime help suppress the secretion of melatonin in our blood, improving awakeness and alertness. Office environments with poor fenestration need this type of light to overcome the lack of daylight. Luminaire optical design is important for the incident light levels at the eye in a workplace situation. It is worth pointing out that colour tuneable light is not a panacea for human centric lighting solutions.