Since the 1980’s bright, white light has been used as an effective therapy for depression and circadian rhythm disorders. However, in the last 2-3 years the most fascinating discoveries are occurring in healthcare, senior living and even the corporate workplace. More and more companies are entering the realm of “workplace wellness” by incorporating biophilic design and daylighting into their newly renovated or built spaces. The “bright, white lights” of yesteryear that attempted to mimic natural daylight in their predominantly windowless environments are now the closest they have ever been. So close in fact, a recent Artificial Sky installation was witnessed creating not only passing clouds overhead, but an optical illusion of both a sunrise and sunset indoors. Typical uses for these LED Skylights and Artificial Sky ceilings are combating afternoon fatigue in the workplace, reducing stress & anxiety for medical patients, creating an environment conducive to learning in schools and most recently, helping seniors cope with Alzheimer’s, dementia and Sundowning. Sundowning is an increased agitation that occurs in the evening and is often accompanied with wandering, brought on with a disruption in the circadian rhythm.
Light therapy can help normalize the circadian system and help promote better mood and health. Circadian rhythm disorders may have some genetic basis but are also affected by the use of electronics and poorly lit spaces. Bright light long after the sun set is something that our ancestors who lived prior to the industrial revolution did not experience. Chances are, they slept better on the cold, wet ground covered with leaves than we do on our $2,500 posturepedic mattresses.
Light therapy has usually been delivered using bulky light boxes. Originally these boxes were the size of a 2ft x 4ft fluorescent fixture with a bank of full spectrum or cool white fluorescent lamps and provided 2,000 lux. Since these early units, LED skylights have become available that are designed to reduce energy consumption, provide the optimal lumen level and to maximally filter ultraviolet light. These Artificial Sky units can deliver about 10,000+ lux and create an illusion of a natural skylight complete with a window view to the outdoors.
We all know the discombobulated feeling of being stuck in a windowless space under yellowish-orange fluorescent lighting during daylight hours. This is a very common reason most employees hate their 9-to-5 office jobs, begin to short circuit internally sort of speak, perform subpar work and eventually quit. If you have a poorly lit space or windows are non-existent in certain areas consider letting the sun shine in with Artificial Sky! More info provided at www.artificialsky.com