Use of lighting to improve health and wellbeing
Lighting affects our health. It affects our mood and circadian rhythms. Poor lighting is linked to glare, headaches, eyestrain, skin conditions and various types of sight loss. So what can building owners and occupants do about it?
2 - Reduce exposure to glare. Arrange visual display units so that reflected glare from luminaires and other brightly-lit areas is limited or avoided. Use matt rather than gloss finishes. Use bright finishes of high reflectance for ceilings and walls to enhance the overall luminance of the space.
3 - Use daylight where possible. Raise blinds when not needed. Create areas with plenty of sunlight and good ventilation so they do not overheat.
4 - Get outside. Exposure to bright daylight and sunlight can help keep the body clock entrained and avoid the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
6 - Reduce shift work, especially night work. Rapid rotation of shifts (a change every few days) is better than weekly rotation as this interferes with circadian rhythms. Use clockwise rotation of shifts (morning, afternoon and night) to ensure adequate rest. Avoid early starts to morning shifts.
7 - Dispose of lamps correctly. Follow Public Health England recommendations for dealing with broken fluorescent lamps to reduce exposure to mercury. Recycle lamps at the end of life by following local lamp recycling instructions.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 7 ways better lighting can improve your health.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Expert Collection 6 Daylight and shading.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Cheshire Oaks: Marks and Spencer
- Daylight benefits in healthcare buildings
- Daylight lighting systems.
- General lighting v task lighting.
- Health and wellbeing impacts of natural and artificial lighting.
- Light shelf.
- Lighting and energy efficiency.
- Lighting and health infographic.
- Lighting designer.
- Site layout planning for daylight and sunlight
- The impact of lighting in retail design
- The essential guide to retail lighting
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.