The fast growth of technology in artificial lighting viewed against the background of capitalism has meant it inevitable that attention has been focussed far closer on lighting as a functional necessity with which to illuminate a space with far less emphasis on the qualities of the light source and its possible effects on human wellbeing.
Since 1991, when Dr Russell Foster of Oxford University led the team that discovered photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in the eye, which are key to controlling our circadian rhythm, a cultural movement of redefinining the quality of lighting and the usage of it is assuming more importance in lighting design – human-centric lighting
This awakening to the power of lighting can be compared to the time of the Renassance when mankind was considered to be at the centre of the universe, limitless in his capacities for development. The theory of human-centric lighting argues that mankind’s needs must be considered at the centre pivot of the environment and not the other way around.
Jon Estell, UK head of design at Spectral Lighting in an interview says: “The human aspect of the term is the most important. Lighting (particulary artificial lighting) is, or should be, about humans and how we operate in a space”. (Human Centric Lighting at the Leadenhall Building – Spectral)
An important progress to humans on the specific quality of illuminating a space, (related with the human centric lighting) is the deveopment of the LED coloured temperature change, with the capacity to dim and tune the light colour temperature in relations with our activities and cycles.
The European Lighting Industry have said that “in the coming decade, the development of new lighting systems will enable the properties of natural lighting to increase the quality of life in many daily situations. This will be the case in education, in leisure time, in healthcare, in elderly homes or in business.”
Lighting Europe – Strategic Roadmap 2025 of the European Lighting Industry