In our ever increasingly technological age, we sometimes forget about the beauty and benefits of nature. This is certainly true regarding natural light, and we often forget that it has a lot of benefits.
Modern lighting is not what it once was, and it is always becoming more efficient and easier on our eyes. But most lighting companies don’t take advantage of natural light—in combination with their lighting solutions—to the levels they could. Natural light has a much different effect on us than artificial light, and it’s worth considering how you would use it in a new project.
Direct Sunlight and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the fat soluble vitamins (along with A, D, E, and K). Understand, however, that our bodies cannot synthesize vitamin D. There’s no way around it – our bodies naturally need sunlight. Though as humans we aren’t cold blooded, our bodies do get vitamin D from direct sunlight. However, if you have a vitamin D deficiency over the course of a long period of time, your body will start to have some problems. Some of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, increased risk of heart disease and cancer, and even severe asthma. However, don’t think you can take a pill to solve this problem. The type of vitamin D we get from the sun is different than other types of vitamin D.
Balancing Our Sleep Schedule
Believe it or not, natural sunlight helps us sleep. It works to balance our circadian rhythm in ways that purely artificial light just can’t. Our brains and bodies are just inherently wired to sleep at night when there is no sunlight. Without the exposure to natural sunlight, our sleep cycle can spin out of control and we can find it hard to fall asleep – causing fatigue and an inability to focus.
In fact, researchers have found that people who work night shifts are more likely to get cancer due to the pineal gland not producing melatonin. Without sunlight and a regular sleep schedule, our bodies have a hard time staying healthy and keeping up with daily demands.
Furthermore, natural lighting is a great way to save money. Lighting is one of the top consumers of energy in the United States. In fact, lighting consumes about 15 percent of all energy in the US. By opening the shades and letting natural sunlight in, we don’t need to waste money or energy on lighting. Though it sounds like a small thing, over time this can add up to substantial amounts of money and mean that we reduce the harm we inflict on the environment. Energy efficiency is a hot topic in the US right now, and your lighting should be designed to take advantage of natural sunlight.
Though we specialize in lighting and illumination, we also appreciate natural light and as often as possible our projects are designed to complement the natural lighting of your space. While sunlight needs to be properly considered and managed (you don’t want everyone to be blinded and sweaty) there are many benefits to letting it in!