Is Human-Centric Lighting on a budget possible?
"One of the things we learned (from years of research projects) is that daylighting design has to be much more improved to be able to deliver that circadian stimulus that we need," Mariana Figueiro, Director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center (LRC). Mark Halper LEDs Magazine Oct 17th, 2017
The logical conclusion to be drawn from this is that if you do not have access to direct daylight, but have a light source that closely matches the spectrum of natural daylight your workers and clients can derive a multitude of benefits from the environment that they work in (where they spend a lot of their day.) Circadian (or body clock) entraining has been found to be essential for mental and physical wellbeing. The research is ongoing at present with constant breakthroughs being made. The ability to “tune” the frequency of LED chips is critical to the research being conducted in situ.
Circadian research suggests that there is a relatively narrow band of the visible spectrum that is responsible for much of the body's 'daytime' signalling. While the visible colour temperature certainly creates a psychological reaction, biology suggests that humans have a particular sensitivity to a band of 'sky blue' light when triggering our awake and alert daytime responses. Unfortunately, that part of the spectrum is typically represented quite weakly in most commercial LED products, and equally so even in many 'tunable white' solutions.
Ecopoint's work in the field of high colour performance started in 2017 when developing a cost-effective retrofit LED lamp option for hospital operating theaters which satisfied the strict 'Cyanosis' colour requirements in critical medical situations. The 'first generation' products - which have now been operating for some time in all of Wellington Hospital's main operating theaters - offered high colour rendering performance with good coverage across much of the visible spectrum. Building on these successes over the last couple of years, our range has expanded now to cover a wide selection of commercial, architectural and retail lighting products. Specifications like CRI (Ra) of 97+, saturated red colour rendering (R9) of over 95, and Cyanosis Observation Index (COI) of as low as 0.5 are now achievable in highly cost-effective packages.
The breadth of spectrum coverage required to achieve these high colour specifications has the advantage of increasing output in the portion relating to circadian stimulus. The resulting combination of bright, vibrant colour rendition as well as healthy biological stimulation makes Ecopoint's high colour performance products particularly compelling for offices and communal spaces as well as health and medical applications.
The industry is still searching for consensus on guidelines for the application of human-centric/circadian lighting technologies - including specifying, modeling, and delivering quantifiable outcomes - but this is an area of particular industry interest and development right across the world. In the meantime, however, we can be confident that light sources with spectral emissions more closely aligned to daylight can only help with minimising the impacts of our demanding modern lifestyles.
Meanwhile, Ecopoint can deliver high CRI lighting solutions (delivering a very close match to daylight) in a number of cost effective form factors right now, saving on control systems and giving clients the opportunity to “wait and see” for the industry and academia to finalise the specifications and dimensions of adjustment required to provide “perfect” Circadian lighting solutions while immediately delivering improved environments for staff and clients.
An example of the implementation of these breakthroughs into the Lighting Specifier market is the Ecopoint Full-Spectrum Panel G2, which delivers improved performance across the visible spectrum courtesy of exceptional technology.
Human Centric High CRI Lighting in Retail.
The OptaTube Range brings high CRI into the retail sector available in a range of form factors ranging from Track Lighting to surface mounted directional spots and suspended downlights. The units come with a range of accessories that are designed to provide the exact look and feel you require while delivering exceptional colour rendering.