The right type of office light can make you more productive. This is a concept we’ve been hearing more and more in recent years, albeit mainly from lighting vendors and those promoting their smart buildings that feature “Human-centric” lighting. Like snake oil in the old Wild West, those promoting human-centric lighting can essentially say what they want about its benefits, and even more suspicious is that while the basic concepts are the same, there is no strict rule on how lighting should be used to bring about productivity. It is all well and good to say that more blue wavelengths of light make you more alert but how blue is best for productivity? How much is too much exposure? Are there any side effects from too much blue light? If there is a scientific basis for these theories then we should have a clearer guidelines, otherwise it is easy to disregard them as marketing talk. “We don’t want to overstate the benefits. But we shouldn’t dismiss them either,” said Mariana Figueiro, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. More adoption might offer more insight on the effect of lighting on productivity but it is quite a complicated thing to measure. An LED-based human-centric lighting been installed in some elementary and middle school classrooms in Carrollton, a northern suburb of Dallas, Texas.
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