- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 07 Feb 2019
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.
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.
- Adequate lighting.
- 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.
- Human-centric lighting.
- Light shelf.
- Light well.
- Lighting and energy efficiency.
- Lighting and health FB 74.
- 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.
- Types of lighting.
Featured articles and news
From alabaster to travertine – how many types do you know?
Well-designed lighting helps maintain a healthy physiological and psychological balance.
Transferring the risk for obtaining the target BREEAM rating.
A simple but effective way to determine the root cause of an issue.
BSRIA report suggest the European market will double to 415 million Euros by 2023.
Why a wellbeing strategy is vital for property managers.
An ECA briefing for members about the commercial implications of leaving the EU.
A crucial moment on any project - and fraught with danger.
The performance gap from a Northern Ireland perspective.
Book review: Buildings of protestant nonconformity.
Design and testing for health and wellbeing - free download from BRE.