The Importance of Light For Sleep and Health

The Importance of Light For Sleep and Health

October 21, 2019 1688

Light is one of the essential ingredients for human life, but its influence on our health and well-being is often overlooked. In this article, we'll look at three specific properties of light⁠⁠—brightness, softness, and tint, and explain how using the right kind of lighting in your home can improve your sleep, health, and general well-being.

Bright Light and Sleep
Research on the science of sleep has made clear the importance of light in determining our circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. In the morning, it's best to get plenty of bright light (preferably natural), while in the evening it's important to minimize the amount of light your eyes are exposed to. In the modern world, people are generally very poor at achieving this, and most people will sit in brightly lit rooms right up to the point they go to sleep, all while looking at the bright screen of their television or mobile device.

In the evening it's best to have warm, soft light that isn't too bright

A low-energy LED night lamp is the perfect solution for this, giving you enough light to read and go about your business, but without overstimulating your brain with too much artificial light just before bed.

The Benefits of Soft Light in the Home
Discussion of soft and hard light is usually the preserve of photographers, but it's something that affects us all throughout the day. Research has shown that hard light is significantly more straining on the eyes and leads to increased levels of fatigue. Some workplaces take the issue seriously enough to replace all their existing hard lighting with soft, diffused light.

AUKEY bedside lamps such as LT-T7 (shown above) produce extremely soft light

The main factor that determines whether light is soft or hard is the size of the light source. Traditional light bulbs are a small and concentrated light source, and therefore produce hard light that leaves a well-defined shadow. Strip lights that are both long and wide are an example of a soft light source.

It's possible to look directly at a soft light source without feeling too much discomfort, but staring at an incandescent light bulb is a much less pleasant experience. Hard light is much more direct and piercing to the eyes, making it particularly problematic in the evening when you would ideally have very little stimulation from light. Unfortunately, many bedside lamps and reading lights use small, bright bulbs that produce hard light just at the time of day when you would want to avoid it. In AUKEY's LED lamps, the lighting element takes up almost the entirety of the product, producing very soft light that is perfect for late-night use.  

The Right Tint for the Right Time of Day
Aside from brightness and softness, another important aspect of light is the color temperature. In the morning, our bodies respond best to blue light, while in the evening, warmer colors are required. The blue light produced by smartphones and computer monitors is known to be particularly disruptive to the production of melatonin and the natural sleep cycle, and many people use blue light filters on their devices in the evening. However, it's not just electronic devices that can disrupt sleep in this way; regular white lighting in the home produces plenty of blue-spectrum light too. In more traditional times, evening lighting always came from a flame, whether it was candles or a fire. This kind of warm light was perfect for winding down in the evening, but in the modern world such solutions are not safe or convenient.

The stylish LT-ST35 floor lamp has adjustable color temperature

The easiest way to get warm light before bed is to use a light source with adjustable color temperature. With AUKEY's current selection of LED lamps, this can be done quickly and easily through intuitive touch controls, giving you the exact kind of warming glow you want.

Light is a major but often overlooked ingredient for human health. Soft light sources with adjustable brightness and color temperature are a simple way of improving your living environment and overall well-being. You can browse this page for more information on the wide range of lighting solutions AUKEY offers.