Human-centric lighting: An introduction

With the rise of back-lit devices alongside studies showing that we spend more time indoors than ever before, there have been more discussions surrounding the concept of human-centric lighting (HCL). As lighting experts, we’ll be dissecting what this means and what role HCL plays in improving people’s wellbeing and productivity across a series of blog posts in the coming months. 

HCL puts emphasis on the visual and non-visual effects of lighting, that is, how it affects our bodies. Light is not only needed for visual tasks but also aids as a ‘time reference’ for our internal clock. Human-centric lighting takes into account people’s needs and adjusts different settings based on what is optimal for each situation. There are a multitude of factors that influence our inner state of wellbeing such as the colour, brightness or tone of the light. Some types of lighting may strain our eyes, increase our body temperature or provide ambience that can affect our moods. The importance of HCL has been gaining traction in recent years as more scientific research emerges to support the benefits of this theory. Developments in solid state lighting allows us to dim and “tune” correlated colour temperature to suit our desired outcome, demonstrated below with each one's individual impact. 

Developments in solid state lighting allows us to dim and “tune” correlated colour temperature to suit our desired outcome

 Walerczyk, S . Human centric lighting. Architectural SSL, 2012, pp.2026,

As we develop a greater understanding of colour psychology, we also understand how it affects evolving technologies. Light can be divided into a spectrum and each colour presents a multitude of psychological effects on a person. For example, on the warm end of the spectrum, red can stimulate the body and raise the pulse. It can also evoke a sense of time moving faster and can represent aggression. On the other hand, white and cool (blue, green, purple) lighting can improve concentration or have a calming effect, depending on the shade. By adjusting lights, it is possible to increase concentration as well as decrease fatigue in classrooms (1). Therefore it is crucial to consider the potential consequences of your lighting choices. 

tri-colour downlight      Stretto pendant with dimmable driver

8W Accent 2 tri-colour downlightStretto Pendant with dimmable driver

Here at Amphis we believe that positively impacting people’s wellbeing is worth the investment! 

Footnote: (1) Cupkova, D, Kajati, E, Mocnej, J, Papcun, P, Koziorek, J and Zolotova, I. ‘Intelligent human-centric lighting for mental wellbeing improvement’. International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks, September 2019.