Light is a big part of the answer. People have always known that light promotes well-being. Coaxing the sun to return amidst the darkest depths of winter was the point of some of humanity’s most ancient rituals, some of which still persist in some form today.
More recently, connected LED lighting has in important ways rivalled the sun when it comes to promoting human well-being, especially indoors. It certainly represents an epochal advance over the capabilities of conventional lighting.
Consider the human-centric illumination capabilities that a smart lighting system makes possible. Users can program luminaires to change their levels of intensity at certain times of day and in response to daylight conditions, perhaps brightening as dusk approaches on a short winter day. Automation makes the change essentially invisible for occupants, a point that’s as important as it is obvious: People will be aware only that they’re located within a cheerful, emotionally healthy environment, if “aware” is the even right word.
More specifically, users can personalize their lighting by deploying preset scenes appropriate to various tasks. They can use smart lighting systems to support occupants’ circadian rhythms, boosting blue light levels in offices in the morning to promote alertness, and lowering them as the workday ends to ease employees into those restful hours that are so important for holistic health.
In addition, smart lighting solutions minimize flicker, strobe effects, and glare, and provide optimal color visibility and spectral composition. Subtle as they might be, these advantages make people feel better. A lighting system is working most effectively, after all, when nobody notices it.
When outfitted with the proper sensors, smart lighting systems can track occupancy and footfall patterns within a building, identifying high-traffic areas that need enhanced cleaning—an especially crucial concern while the COVID-19 pandemic rages. Businesses can also advise employees in real time which floors or areas of a building they should use, based on workspace capacity and occupancy levels. Smart systems can even predict demand through occupancy trends over time. With an indoor positioning system in place, employees can find and book safe desks and meeting areas via an app, and navigate to their destinations through the least crowded areas.