Impact of Light
Before reading this article, I had never thought in depth of how light could influence human health. Designers should promote a healthy environment and light can effect this. In “Influences of Architectural Lighting on Health,” Eve Edelstein mentions that “most living species respond to changing patterns of light and dark” (1). During the summer, I would naturally wake up around the same time of day. This shows that the pattern of light even effects our sleeping. For my father, the seasonal changes of light alter his mood and create other negative effects. To ease his anxiety, he will sometimes sit underneath a lamp without a shade and close his eyes. I have often wondered why culture continues to have Daylight Savings Time when there are negative effects such as “restlessness, sleep disruption, and shorter sleep duration” (O’Connor 1). Edelstein considers that more light is not better for us. Certain lights will sometimes give me the worse headaches recognizing that “typical electrical lighting systems do not emulate the natural patterns of daylight” (4). Sometimes I feel as though there is too much light in the studio space of the Gatewood building. The glare creates an uncomfortable setting while working. Our body responds to many light sources. Reading about the uses of light in hospital setting makes me realize how light can have negative effects on patients. The right amount of light could help the healing process if understood better. This inspires us as designers to think about the lighting choices in our space and whether or not it correlates with the occupant and function of the space.