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How Smart Lighting Can Improve Your Well-Being Next Winter

Light has been used as a metaphor since the earliest recorded history. It's used to illustrate concepts like truth, knowledge, purity, and goodness. Though light is fundamentally seen as good, humans have learned much about the qualities and different kinds of light over the past few centuries, and have identified ways in which light intrudes or annoys.

Quality of lighting affects productivity, energy, and mood.

Twentieth-century American writer James Thurber said, "There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures." The answer to improving situations and settings isn't always adding more light, but adding the right light at the right time. Too much light, whether literal, or in the form of intense flattery can, after all, blind.

The advent of gas, and then electric lighting a century ago fundamentally changed society, and scientists are constantly learning more about what types of light have what effects and how timing of light affects the body and a person's sense of well-being, particularly during dark winter months.

How Lighting Affects Eye Function

Light, of course, is necessary for vision. The color composition of the different types of illumination we use affects how well we can see. The human eye has peak sensitivity in the yellow-green range in daylight, while nighttime vision sensitivity peaks in the blue-green range. By providing artificial light in different wavelengths or combinations of wavelengths, we can help eyes function optimally for tasks like work and reading. And by limiting light in certain wavelengths, we can decrease discomfort that comes from glare. Ultimately, we can light up those dark winter mornings and evenings in ways that accommodate the needs of the human eye best.

Smart Lighting and Mood

The drop-off in daylight during autumn and winter definitely affects mood, and emotions both positive and negative can be amplified by bright lighting. What this means is that simply "more" light is not the answer to helping people who have mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is a tendency for low mood to take over during the winter months when there is less daylight. Since bright light intensifies emotional reaction to stimuli, it can be used in targeted ways. For example, smart home lighting that emulates the spectrum of sunlight can be used to boost mood when real sunlight is scarce.

How Smart Home Lighting Affects Overall Well-Being

Smart home lighting can improve quality of life.

Life forms are governed by a light-dark cycle of approximately 24 hours, but the quality of light, and not just its presence, affects our biological clocks. For example, bluer light in the morning has the effect of resetting our clocks and synchronizing circadian rhythms to the sunrise and sunset where we live. When those light-dark cycles are disrupted, such as by shift work or living above the Arctic Circle, health can be compromised. In animals, circadian light disruption is linked with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. So the right light at the right time helps us achieve better sleep, health, and sense of well-being, including during the dark winter months. Tailoring light to our needs helps us accomplish what we want with greater comfort and in better health.

How Smart Lighting Is an Investment in Your Self, Home, and Family

Lighting in our homes and offices is becoming smarter. Not only can smart lighting be cycled on and off to save energy consumption, it can be managed to better suit time of day, activities, and the specific use lighting is put to. The SmartFx smart Bluetooth-enabled LED smart bulb can be completely controlled with a smartphone. Used in any standard socket, lamp, or fixture, the SmartFx bulb is controlled by application, giving users full control over lighting.

What does this mean in practical use? It means you can create a morning alarm that coordinates sound and light, for a more pleasant and effective waking-up experience. It means you can synchronize smart lighting color with a music playlist, for a party for example. And because the SmartFx bulb can produce 16 million colors, your smart home lighting can be adapted to time of day, time of year, mood, or any other parameter. The result is increased comfort, less eye strain, and a greater feeling of well-being.

Light isn't just a "one size fits all" garment that works equally for everyone in every situation. Today's technology allows us to deliver smart lighting, the way a couture designer customizes clothing to the human body. The more we learn about light and how it affects everyday life, the more options SmartFx brings to consumers just like you.