What is Human Centric Lighting ?

So as  to understand what is human-centric lighting, LightingEurope, an industry association representing leading European lighting manufacturers and national lighting associations,  and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) have issued a joint paper in which they defined the benefits, technologies, and potential applications.

They  define “Human Centric Lighting” as a form of lighting that goes beyond colour rendering and power efficiency but instead takes into account  other non-visual effects, including circadian-tuning.

Technical enablers that could support Human Centric Lighting include intelligent lighting (with sensors and controls to support the dynamics of such a system), tuneable white (at least in light intensity and colour) and personal control.

Content enablers listed by LightingEurope for Human Centric Lighting include circadian light (following specific dynamics or a 24hr light-dark pattern of natural light), activity support (lighting pre-sets supporting typical activities in that application) and natural light (directional and natural effects linking to the unconscious effects on people).

The position paper opens by noting that HCL should deliver some combination of “excellent visual, biological, and emotional effects of light.” The CIE (International Commission on Illumination) is advocating similar concepts for what it calls integrative lighting.

This presentation  on human-centric lighting describes the natural cycle of light effects on the human body’s internal clock, and provides insights on how to mimic that cycle with electric light.

Visual benefits are fairly well known, but the  article defines biological benefits such as alertness, cognitive performance, and good sleep-wake cycles among others. Among  emotional benefits, there is an improved mood or impulse control.

The article also defines the concepts of both technical and content enablers of HCL. On the technical side, we have tunable color or white capabilities and controls. On the content side, you might find circadian light or a 24-hour programmatic pattern, or presets tied to specific activities.

The document states, “Human Centric Lighting is aimed at providing the right light for our activities at the right place at the right time.” Indeed, the paper includes a graphic that suggest a potential cycle for a 24-hour day.