Imagine: you came home in the evening, and there are only two shiny cat’s eyes in the apartment. It’s dark as a poke in the eye. You light your way with your cell phone and try to remember where the candles and matches are, or if they are there at all. Around you, your family wanders confused and sadly, and your neighbor knocks dolefully to ask if this is the case everywhere. This is what the end of the world looks like, or rather a temporary blackout in a single house in a big city.
Life without light is impossible in principle: there will be no photosynthesis, many biochemical reactions will stop, vision of humans and animals will be completely useless. And at the same time, we are all victims of light pollution, which has conquered large cities around the world. So is artificial light evil or good, where is its measure and how does it affect human health? We have found a reason to talk about it.
We’ve gathered some of the most popular questions about light and decided to shed some light on them – literally, because lamps take a huge share of the parcels flying in from Gearbest all over the world (what a pun!). Shall we get some light?
Why so much attention is paid to the quality of light, namely its characteristics: flicker frequency, temperature, intensity of luminous flux? It’s bright, it’s bright, it’s fine.
The first human organ that "encounters" light is the eyes, an extremely sensitive and valuable organ through which we perceive most information. However, the eyes do not pick up what the brain is capable of "picking up. In particular, the flicker of light, invisible to the eyes for 4-8 hours can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea and psychological disorders (depression, apathy, irritability). Therefore, for example, LED lamps with a ripple factor of about 5% are preferable to incandescent bulbs with their 15-20%. But quality fixtures have a ripple factor of up to 1%.
Similarly, "bluish" cold light with temperatures from 3500 to 6400 K inhibits the production of melatonin in the body. Meanwhile, a number of office spaces tend to create exactly these "working" conditions. Of course this is a mistaken action – such stimulation will only lead to insomnia, reduced performance and increased susceptibility to infections and allergens due to reduced immunity.
Light affects the visual (sensory), biological and emotional realms of each person’s life. It has to do with circadian cycles
To put it very simply, light enters the retina, from which it sends a signal to the brain. Depending on the characteristics of the light, the signal is processed by the brain and then the secretion of certain hormones is initiated or suppressed. For example, if there is not enough light, melatonin, the sleep hormone, is secreted. Conversely, if there is too much light, the stress hormone cortisol is produced. This carousel of hormones determines the so-called circadian rhythms – cyclical fluctuations in the intensity of biological processes associated with the time of day.
By the way, a bedside lamp like this is good for circadian rhythms Xiaomi PHILIPS Zhirui With smart control system and great light panel , which simulates almost a sunrise in the countryside, and is essentially an inexpensive (only $19.99) LED strip with warm yellow light. No need to look for slippers either 🙂
Are circadian rhythms a medical term or something of the aura and biofield variety? And what does that have to do with light?
Circadian or circadian rhythms are a scientific term proven in biology. Sometimes they are called the human biological clock (not to be confused with the biological clock of individual human organs – this is just "fudge, " or rather, a process not recognized by official science). It is with circadian rhythms that such manifestations of vital activity within a day as sleep, hunger, changes in body temperature and blood pressure, growth processes, and timing of production of the hormones melatonin and cortisol are associated.
Diagram of cortisol and melatonin production in the human body during the day
Circadian rhythms are directly related to light – it is the change of day and night that determines what state the human body is in.
However, in modern conditions, when we have to work and generally lead an active life (for example, driving a car) not only during daylight hours, there is a need to somehow cheat our circadian rhythms. And artificial lighting is a great help in maintaining the health and vigor of modern man. For example, you can configure your LED lamp so that the body begins to produce melatonin, which, in turn, will tell the brain that night has come and it’s time to go to sleep. But reading information from the screens of gadgets (tablets, cell phones, laptops) just can lead to insomnia and difficulty falling asleep, because the retina informs the brain of the "wrong" light.
One of the main protagonists of the article is melatonin, the sleep hormone
"Light affects our circadian rhythms more than any drug, " states Charles A. Zeisler, M.D., director of the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. And he’s right.
Why not hang thick curtains and blinds to block out the sunlight as much as possible and set up one that is optimally beneficial to the body? Lights on a relay, different levels of heat and intensity of flux, and there I am independent of the weather!
For all the perfection of electrical appliances and the variety of choice of means of illumination natural sunlight clearly beats artificial sunlight. It is a matter of biology – the very circadian rhythms "obey" exactly to sunlight and adapt to the dynamism of light and the spectral composition of radiation.
So why not do away with artificial light, why all the fuss and such an assortment of lighting fixtures?
Of course, modern man cannot give up artificial lighting. At the very least, it can be detrimental to mental and somatic health. Judge for yourself :
- Of the 24 hours in a day, we spend more time awake than asleep (alas, some have 18-20 hours of active time). Of course, the daylight hours are shorter. If we’re talking about Russia, we’re dealing with the shortest possible daylight hours for most of the year.
- There are quite large groups of people who work in shifts and are forced to work at night. In industrial regions and areas this can be 20-50% of the population.
- In some office centers there are entire workrooms and offices without windows or with very narrow windows, where the sunlight almost does not penetrate. What’s the big deal, some rooms in the apartments are also rather dark, such as in the apartment buildings of the 70s, where the room is preceded by a balcony, later closed by the owners to the state of a loggia.
The required level of illumination for humans is 1000-1500 lux (lux is a unit of measurement of illumination). If natural sunlight is not able to do the job, the help of lamps is needed. At the same time the lighting should be organized, general and local. If you turn on the light above a book or the backlight on a laptop in complete darkness and periodically take your eyes off and look into this very darkness, your eyes will be extremely uncomfortable. There shouldn’t be such a drastic change.
And yes, we chronically lack light: So, the amount of light that we get for 16 hours in a conditional office or home can be compared to one hour in the sun on a nice day. Hence the problems of vitamin D8 and D2 synthesis.
And we advise you to try already YEELIGHT legendary lamps – For $20.99, you get an entire mini system that gives you exactly the light you need at the moment. These are true favorites of our buyers. By the way, there are sets of similar lamps – Three at once, just what you need for the room.
Are LED lights bad for your health?
No, of course not. We have also seen publications on the subject, but in them the experiments were made on lamps, close to the characteristics of those used for drying gel-lacquer in manicure salons. In fact, LED lamps – a harmless and also environmentally friendly light sources, which can not cause damage to the level of UV radiation, which they have. Moreover, major manufacturers are striving to meet the standards so as not to lose the global market. In general, LED lights are harmless if we are talking about a relatively healthy person (because, for example, a person with an eye disease can be negatively affected – but exactly as much as they are affected by any light source, including the sun).
However, there are nuances that must be taken into account. For example, the LED can cause irreparable damage to the cells of the human retina – we are talking about the so-called "cold" blue light. So it is better to check whether your lamp has a filter or choose a lamp with color temperature control.
Is there any light pollution?
Yes, there is. You and I live in big cities, where lighting follows us day and night – in fact, we are constantly exposed to glow, forced to illuminate ourselves with various devices and wearable electronics, and we do not pay attention to light hygiene. As a consequence, one suffers from sleep disorders, reduced immunity, vision problems, feelings of "over-light" and "over-darkness, " when one becomes disoriented and finds oneself in traumatic situations. These factors accumulate like a snowball and, one by one, negatively affect a person’s health.
Civilization has a lighting challenge to contend with :
- Users – choose those devices and lamps that can have a positive or neutral effect (e.g, table lamp by Xiaomi ), do not chase cheap knockoffs that do not match the claimed specifications;
- Manufacturers to design and build lighting fixtures responsibly, use precision equipment to reduce light pollution, and use optimal color temperatures;
- All of us – organize personal and work light hygiene in the space (it’s not just a cool light bulb or on-time switch, but also wall color, placement of interior items, cleanliness of windows, etc.)
How to organize proper lighting?
- Try to ensure that the light is evenly diffused, as variations in light intensity lead to impaired adaptation. In the home or office environment, this may not be tragic, but it gradually causes irritability and significantly worsens mood and performance.
- Choose the correct values :
- Power – 10 to 20 watts per square meter of room is needed for incandescent bulbs and about 7 times less for LED bulbs.
- Heat temperature. Don’t be fooled : the higher the temperature in Kelvin, the cooler the light looks. For the home, 2700-3000 K is recommended; for concentrated work, 3500-4000 K.
Mighty step of the electric lines today,
The steel masts are broad in the shoulders.
But in people’s memory to this day
Illich’s unquenchable lamp. (Text from a Soviet poster)
What’s good about LED lights?
In general, these lamps are good for everything : now they are inexpensive, do not eat electricity, do not heat (important for children (will not get burned) and cats (upset – will not get warm)), safe in terms of components, durable (sometimes – plastic), excellent light scattering.
Other than that, they :
- lasts a long time – up to 100, 000 hours (about 11 years);
- have a color rendering index of 80-85 units (sunlight 100) – here we have almost real sunlight;
- with the same illumination use 7 times less electricity than the "old" generation bulbs;
- Have high power of luminous flux up to 1000 lm, because they do not use power for heating;
- tolerant to humidity and temperature fluctuations, and some models even have degrees of moisture resistance and dust protection.
What to look for when choosing a lamp?
Pay attention to the articles by Alexei Nadyozhin aka AlexeyNadezhin But in short, for the unadvanced consumer it is enough to know :
- Who is the manufacturer. Choose lamps from brands you know or have heard of. This gives assurance that the manufacturer is committed to meeting standards.
- Color temperature (measured in Kelvin, K) – everyone has their own preferences, but there are roughly these limits : 1800-3500 – warm yellow, 3600-5000 – neutral white, blue cold – from 5100.
- Luminous flux – how many lumens there are per 1 watt. Dull light will lead you to apathy and drowsiness, and too bright will eventually cause tearfulness, burning, and a feeling of sand in your eyes.
- The angle of dispersion is a very important indicator, which most often ranges from 50 to 120 degrees. You need to choose based on the size of the room and your needs. Angles smaller and angle larger also exist, but require more expensive prefabricated solutions. Diffused light is good for illuminating the entire room, and combined with it directional – to illuminate the part of the space you need.
Be sure to test the lamp in the store, and not just for breakage, but also for formal comfort/discomfort.
Light is coziness, comfort, warmth, productivity. Light is a good mood and a really good morning. Light is health. Take care of it, let it into the house and you literally feel how ho-ho-ho-ho!
We have, as always, a little something interesting. For the arrival of autumn and darkness in our cities we have prepared a special sale, which will definitely make you feel better.
- All light with crazy discounts in our special section (there are also flashlights)
- Our best selling table lamp
- Cute and inexpensive lamp-hub
- A very romantic lamp that mimics a flame
- A sensor that can be used in a hallway, closet, dressing room, or even a closet
- Three meter battery operated diode tape – looks great on New Year’s Eve and Halloween in various containers in the office and at home. For $1.99, it’s not a sin to please your coworkers either
- The same two-meter-long
Come out of the twilight, everyone!