New products on the market use tunable white lighting can automatically adjust the colour spectrum of your home lighting to match your sleep patterns.
For years lighting control has been a part of home automation, greatly enhancing the home environment with its ability to switch, dim or brighten lights throughout the home in patterns that correspond to changing moods and time of day. In the original incarnations of lighting control, low voltage LED lighting was excluded because it was not yet fully developed as a viable light source. Now LED lighting has become increasingly applied in both commercial and residential environments to provide illumination that is not only bright, but very cost-effective.
A by-product of using LEDs as a light source is that the colour spectrum can be adjusted electronically within a single illuminator. This means that an additional benefit is now available in the ability to tune the colour spectrum of a light source to conform to what science knows about the effects of different hues.
Melatonin Production Responds To Colours
It is known that the production of melatonin by the pineal gland is what regulates biological rhythms such as sleep and wake cycles. Scientists also know that warmer colour temperatures can be calming while cooler temps can be energizing. The warmer colours at the red end of the spectrum can be calming while the blues at the cool end of the spectrum are energizing. Now home automation systems can apply this knowledge by changing the hue of the light source to match the time of day or mood, going a step beyond dimming.
They call it “human centric lighting”. It aligns with your circadian rhythms, providing cooler colours to energize the start of your day and warmer colours to calm you as you head to bed so that the production of melantonin matches your sleeping patterns.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
It may prove as well to be an effective anodyne against Seasonal Affective Disorder, the “winter blues” that scientists have found can be traced to fewer hours of daylight. With the ability of tunable white light to reproduce the spectrum of natural light, home automation lighting systems may soon be able to address this problem as well as align you with your circadian rhythms.
The system uses a software protocol that was originally designed to control hues in stage lighting. Commercial applications have been around for a few years but it is only recently that the same principles have been married to home automation systems to allow this kind of flexibility within the home.