The health benefits of smart lighting and smart light bulbs are many, although they may not seem very obvious at first. After all, we’re talking about lights here—how beneficial to our health can lights be?
Many people think of lighting purely from the “being able see things” standpoint—and yes, that is one clear benefit of lighting and was the central idea behind Thomas Edison’s invention of the first incandescent bulb in 1879.
But smart lighting, including smart light bulbs, actually has benefits far beyond just being able to know that we aren’t about to walk into a wall, a window, or a stairwell and just generally being able to see what we’re doing.
Here are those benefits, in no particular order:
1. Better sleep
Many people are used to using meditation apps and white noise to help them fall asleep. Similarly, having the right hue of lighting can also greatly enhance our sleep by getting our body clocks in line with our location’s natural lighting cycles. The better you can adjust your lights to match when you need to be more awake and when you need to be winding down, the more control you have over your ability to use lighting to your advantage when it comes to sleep.
Regular lighting’s simple on-off functionality does very little to help us in this endeavor, and furthermore, the blue light that comes from our electronics has been shown to be extremely disruptive to falling asleep. With smart bulbs, you can set up automations to turn the hue from a bluer shade of white during the day to help with productivity to a warmer shade in the evening hours to help prepare the body for sleep.
2. Productivity enhancement
You may not see productivity as a type of health benefit, but when you consider that the more productive you are, the less stressed you are because the more time you have for yourself and for disconnecting, then productivity is actually a very key health benefit of smart lighting.
Every year scientists get more plugged into the importance of the interconnection between lighting and work. Lighting and smart bulbs have a significant effect on our circadian rhythms, which determine our moods, sleep cycles, and concentration levels.
With regular lighting, we cannot control the hues in any way. Smart lighting allows us to take nuanced approached to lighting—one that enables productivity-enabling lighting plans that encourage the use of natural light for peak production and smart lighting with soothing hues to wind down in the evening. You can also use smart lighting to signal bedtime for the kids: the lights flash blue at 8 pm and the kids know it’s time to start getting ready for bed. Less stress. More productivity for everyone. And it’s all thanks to smart lighting.
3. Mood enhancement
We are getting to the point where we can stop thinking of lighting and light bulbs as something only interacting with our eyes. That is, lighting is slowly becoming something that also interacts with our moods, via our eyes.
The tone, or hue, of light you use at home can have a major impact on how you feel. The adjustment of lighting to match our desired mood or emotional state at that particular time is also known as human-centric lighting.
But true human-centric lighting and bulbs go further than just providing energy-boosting white-hue lighting schemes during the day and more soothing, melatonin-producing yellow lighting during the evening. It’s about learning which lighting hues best suit your particular daily routines and habits.
Say, for example, you are a painter who paints in the morning and are at your most creative with soothing yellow light—you can program your smart lighting or smart light bulb automations to come on at the times you do your painting to provide the perfect setting for your creativity.
4. Safer at-home environment
In a day and age when staying at home most of time has become the norm, you want to feel as safe as possible in your home environment. Well, you want to feel as safe as possible, regardless, but home safety becomes even more important when you are also working from home or have kids doing home schooling or distance learning.
Safer at-home environment
With smart lighting and smart light bulbs, you can automate lights to come on outside if their sensors detect movement. You can also control your lights remotely, having them come on when you aren’t home to deter any would-be intruder. And while you’re sleeping, you can set up a light on-off automation to make it look like someone is awake and hence scare off anyone who may be thinking about trying a midnight break-in.
That’s beneficial, human-centric lighting in a nutshell, and it’s something that will be growing rapidly in use and popularity in the coming years, not only in smart homes but also in smart commercial buildings.
All of the above may at first seem like subtle things and only slight advantages over the simple on-off functionality of regular lighting, but taken all together and also, especially, over time (consider how much longer smart light bulbs last, too, compared to regular bulbs), the health benefits of smart lighting become very clear.
And remember: you don’t have to get it all set up at once. Start with a smart bulb or two, then move on to light strips or fixtures. Soon enough, your home will be completely outfitted with smart lighting and smart light bulbs, and you will begin to see the health benefits.