Diwali is a festival of lights and it heralds a season of celebrations in east and west alike. The days after diwali are followed by (Karthigai Deepam) in the southern part of India, every house keeps oil lamps outside it's premises in reverence to Lord Karthikeyan, the lord of victory. In the west, November is the gateway to a season of celebrations, with sweet anticipations of Christmas lights. Light is an off-beat topic for a creative agency (may be!), but you will be fascinated to read what lighting means for the modern workplace.
Have you ever wondered why you respond to warm, dim lit places with feelings of relief; looking for a corner to settle in, allowing yourself to unwind?
Does that smart bulb emit the best light when it's a sombre yellow? Or may be, you cannot fathom why would anyone prefer a yellow bulb, while the white light is a perfectly good experience. The reasons lie within the the deep connection we share with light, our very definition of day and night.
Light is a fascinating subject to study and even more so for evolved brands. There is a very strong connection to how employees feel and behave, how prospects react to your brand event and light.
Light dictates the mood and feeling of a setting, a conscious light design is the way forward for many brands who re-configure their office environments and respond to the changing needs of the workforce today, a workforce which desperately wishes to feel something in their offices.
An org without feelings is a dismal place for today's workforce, and feelings are an outcome of a brand's visual experience as well.
Natural light: Imagine an office with a giant window, and how it allows the entry of abundant light, how it would lend an external view, accessible to everyone. Natural light breaks the notion of separateness, it makes people experience freedom and depth of thought, just as they would in outdoors. It is critical to air flow, and the idea of time as a flow. You may have not noticed, but people want to know when the sun goes down, and how the sunlight changes to a golden hue around 4:30 PM! To be in touch with natural light is a direct experience of being in touch with one's biorhythm, an office that honours natural light in it's space design has really given a thought about the experience of it's crew. The early morning natural light may turn out to be harsh sometimes, but it can be diffused through a clever use of sheer curtains and materials. Natural light brings out the artist inside everyone, whether they are self aware of it or not, the changing clouds, the sweet yellow hues and the setting sun has inspired coders, manufacturing units alike, not just creative enterprises. All the cultures around the world urge for people to build homes in such a way that sunlight reaches it's every corner, to keep negative feelings out, to keep the evil at bay! Something to think about...and implement in our offices too.
Artificial White light: You can compare the effect of white lights to a coffee shot served visually, the inherent blue spectrum keeps the mind active and responsive, similar to what the morning light with its UV component does to our brain, it is refreshing for daylight operations.
But, the commercial white light comes in many harsh forms, and it is unwise to use it without diffusion or let it overpower the space. There are options to buy slightly warm tints for the white lights, which make it more cosy and acceptable as a natural environment.
White lights can cause upset bio-rythms in the evening hours, the time that is not meant for work biologically, but contemporary offices do some of their most important work in evenings, even if it is an activity opposite to the natural circadian rythm. Therefore, one must replace the white lights with yellows after the sun sets to give an experience of relaxation and allow for work to happen at a slower pace.
You will be surprised to learn that the blue light (emitted from laptops and other devices) can cause a range of health problems if you continue to expose yourself in the nights to them, like; sleep disorders, obesity, depression, metabolic disorders, and even breast cancer. Blue light can be found in fluorescent lighting too. Humans produce melatonin hormone in the nights, and its production can get severely suppressed by the use of blue light. What we essentially play or risk here is fundamentally important for work-life balance, because melatonin lowers cholesterol, assists in sleep, and it is vital for the healthy function of the adrenal gland, testes, ovaries, pancreas, and thyroid gland as well. This is important, and comes under light pollution with far reaching effects. You can read more on it here.
Artifical Yellow light: The lights that emit yellow tones are technically 2500 - 3000 Kelvin, way below 6000K that is found in white lights.
It is also observed that white light has 5 times more diminishing effect on melatonin than yellow/warm lights. Therefore, as the evening turns into night, so should the white light to yellow ones. The primary use of warm lights is to create an atmosphere of aesthetic delight, and many interior design projects leverage it, mixing the yellow lights across contemporary offices in the form of lamps, spot lights and focussed corners to create a spread of light that is inviting to the eyes.
We hope that our blog makes you see the light in your office differently, good lighting is a requisite to a good mood; and your overall well-being. Keep in mind the transition of lights from day to night, minimize the use of devices that emit blue light when the night falls, and listen to your bio-rythm.
Because, creativity cannot survive without a healthy mind and body, the very idea of work is to bring joy to each and every corner of your life, work itself is the light of this universe, and it must find attunement with the laws of nature.