Tenzing explains: Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Tenzing LED Lighting

You might have heard certain buzz words that keep being repeated across various areas of Lighting industry – ‘Circadian Rhythm’. So, what is it all about?

Circadian rhythms are essentially the daily changes in our physical, mental and behavioral states that respond to a light-and-dark cycle. Before artificial light it used to be that man would get up with the dawn and go to bed at night and the available light around us signaled to our bodies at what point of the cycle we should be. This harmony is known as “entrainment” – an entrained circadian cycle based on the natural light/dark system of the sun.

We inadvertently changed all of that by making our own light. From firelight to gaslight to electric light – our waking hours were no longer determined by the setting sun; we were getting things done. Productivity increased dramatically as we were allowed to work late into the night (or binge-watch Netflix), but this came at the price of being in sync with our natural circadian rhythm.

If you are like most people these days, you spend most of your time indoors, and tend to work with the lights on. All lighting has a color temperature which in turn has an associated color. Ever taken a photo indoors and it came out yellow? It’s because the traditional lighting (e.g. fluorescent, halogen etc.) has a color temperature that produces non-natural, yellow glow, that isn’t always visible to the naked eye. So, while working indoors with the lights on, our bodies are not getting the natural daylight/dark contrast that is essential to a healthy circadian rhythm. Working without the natural triggers that the nuance of natural light provides can affect well-being in many ways, and has a direct impact on workplace productivity.

Modern lighting systems have started to mimic the color temperatures of natural circadian rhythms to improve employee well-being and the overall workplace environment. In addition to being far more energy efficient, LED lighting has the added benefit of being able to have control of color temperature, visible color, mood, overall natural and light cycles that is nearly impossible with fluorescent lighting.

Using the LED engineered light cycles to your advantage is still in its infancy but studies in hospitals have found that staff performance can improve with more natural light cycles, and schools have reported seeing positive benefits to their students concentration.

If you’d like to see if lighting that incorporates circadian rhythms might benefit your business then please get in touch with a Tenzing Solutions advisor, who will be happy to tell you more.