Human Centric Lighting/1. What is it and how can we achieve it?

Human Centric Lighting/1. What is it and how can we achieve it?

Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is a concept that represents a deep cultural change that aims to achieve a healthier and more balanced relationship with the environment we live in.

Our modern lifestyle is not aligned with nature’s rhythms. We spend most of our time indoors where artificial lighting has virtually abolished the difference between night and day. However, over the last few decades, scientific research has made it clear that light isn’t just for seeing, but also for governing how our body works from both the biological and psychological points of view.

And this is precisely the basic goal of Human Centric Lighting: to design lights that don’t take into account only of the visual effects, but also of the biological and emotional impact on humans.

hcl-1Biological clock

We use the definition of “biological clock” because, over the course of the day, the variations of light, from dawn to dusk, up to the dark of the night, send precise signals to our body, triggering specific psychological responses.

Blood pressure, body temperature and the production of specific hormones vary over the course of 24 hours.

When we wake up, the morning light triggers processes that stimulate attention span, which reaches its peak during the central hours of the day, to then decline with the arrival of the evening in order to prepare our body for night-time rest. This mechanism, which varies according to seasons and individual characteristics, is necessary for our body to work properly.


A systematic disruption of our biological clock is harmful for our health.

Numerous studies prove that the disruption of our sleep-wake cycle provokes fatigue and sleeping disorders, it has a negative impact on mood and on our psychological wellbeing, it can cause anxiety or depression, as well as gastrointestinal disorders and, if prolonged over time, it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (strokes and heart attacks) and metabolic disorders (such as obesity and diabetes). Lastly, it can weaken the immune system favouring the outburst of some cancers.

HCL disorders

Therefore, according to research, it is important that our body receives the signals from natural light and its evolution throughout the day. Yet, we spend most of our time, whether at work or at home, in closed and artificially illuminated spaces. So what can we do?

The answer is simple: allow a greater amount of natural light to fill our spaces. This is why designers and architects are designing buildings that recover as much as possible the relationship with the outside world. And a great help is given by the technological evolution of artificial lighting, including HCL.


The new frontier of Human Centric Lighting

The new LED lighting fixtures have features that allow artificial lights to mimic the quality of natural light, and have the necessary amount of light to allow us to complete, as best as possible, different work and study activities, as well as create a pleasant environment where lights can follow the natural trend of daylight.

Designers who follow the principles of Human Centric Lighting using the new LED fixtures will achieve:

Greater amount of light

LED sources cut down energy costs while achieving a high luminous flux in accordance with sustainable consumption patterns.

Improved light quality

The new sources combine high colour rendering and correct light distribution, guaranteeing maximum visual comfort; while anti-glare optics and the low-flicker sources protect human eyesight.

Efficient light control

The possibility to adjust lights via more accurate and programmable control systems can dim lights during the day in order to reproduce the rhythm of outdoor light or automatically adjust them to the amount of daylight. Moreover, it is possible to choose the best amount of light for a certain type of activity, whether it is reading, working at the PC or a business meeting.

Let’s take a look at the best lighting fixtures to achieve HCL
in different applications

  • Human Centric Lighting in offices
  • Human Centric Lighting in learning institutions
  • Human Centric Lighting in industrial plants
  • Human Centric Lighting in healthcare facilities


  • Posted by Redazione
  • On August 4, 2019
Tags: biological clock, cyrcadian rythms, natural light


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