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Viewpoint


How the 'right light' can fight the winter blues


Dr.Andreas Wojtysiak, Senior Scientist Light and Health at Osram talks to A1 Lighting about how the ‘right light’ can fight the winter blues.


Now that we’ve finally waved goodbye


to our glorious summer by turning back the clocks, some may welcome the extra hour to catch up on sleep or work but others will be hit hard by the winter blues. As the days get shorter, the lack of exposure to the ‘right light’ can have a detrimental effect both mentally and physically in the home and workplace. We need good quality light to see well,


but light has a much more far–reaching significance. Without us being aware of it, daylight controls many biological processes in our bodies and our internal clock. As a result many suffer from sleep disorders, chronic fatigue and depression – including Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). The answer to the winter blues is


simple – light. It stimulates response centres in our brain, causing serotonin to be produced, a neurotransmitter known as the ‘happy hormone’ which contributes to feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Light that is inspired by natural daylight is not just brighter it also stimulates us. The cognitive centres in the brain and


our internal clock are more sensitive to light with a pronounced blue component, so this light makes us more alert, more attentive and more able to concentrate on our work during the day. Light with a


high blue component stimulates the receptors in the eye (and therefore the control centre in the brain) to a much greater extent than light with a high red component. Many offices should look at adapting


their lighting to uplift the mood within the workplace, using artificial daylight to create a positive effect on performance and wellbeing. Developed on the basis of recent scientific findings, modern light can make work more pleasurable and successful. When choosing the most appropriate lighting, remember that whilst natural light is ideal for human vision, it can cause glare and unwanted heat. Getting the right mix of natural


and artificial daylight will create a powerful sense of wellbeing, boost performance, motivation and efficiency. Light can bring an extra dimension, driving our inner clock and improving our quality of life, while offering a simple solution to combat the dreaded winter blues.


Contact Osram +44 (0)1753 484163 www.osram.co.uk


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www.a1lightingmagazine.com


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