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Guidance for businesses and designers

Businesses have a responsibility to create safe and inclusive environments for their employees, customers, and visitors. One often overlooked aspect of this responsibility is the impact of lighting on people’s health and well-being. Lighting, when not properly considered, can have significant negative effects on individuals, ranging from discomfort to severe illness. By being aware of these potential pitfalls and taking care to install good-quality lighting, businesses can ensure a healthy and productive environment.

Adjustable lighting

Offering the ability to dim or switch lights off, particularly in areas such as toilets, is essential. Many people experience discomfort or sensory overload in bright, artificial lighting, particularly in enclosed spaces. Allowing people to adjust the lighting to their comfort level can help alleviate these symptoms and create a more accommodating environment.

Sensitivities to different aspects of light

Moreover, some individuals are more sensitive to certain aspects of lighting, such as flicker and colour temperature. People suffering from migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, or certain neurological conditions may experience intensified symptoms when exposed to LED lighting. Flickering lights can trigger migraines, while high-intensity or cool-toned lighting can cause eye strain, headaches, and cognitive difficulties. In addition individuals with particular skin conditions and lupus may also be badly affected. By being aware of these sensitivities, businesses can select lighting options that minimise these adverse effects and aim to create a comfortable environment for everyone.

Customer experience

Businesses should also consider the impact of lighting on their customers’ experience and their perception of the business. Bright, harsh lighting can create a sense of urgency or anxiety. To address these concerns, businesses should adopt a number of measures. First and foremost, they should educate themselves and their staff about the potential health effects of lighting. This awareness will allow businesses to make more informed decisions when selecting lighting fixtures, bulbs, and colour temperatures.

Ask the experts

Consulting with lighting experts or professionals in the field can also provide valuable insights into creating lighting designs that prioritise health and well-being. Implementing adjustable or tuneable lighting systems can also help. Providing individuals with control over their immediate lighting environment empowers them to create a space that suits their needs, reducing the risk of discomfort or illness.

Businesses have a responsibility to prioritise the health and well-being of their employees and customers. By being aware of the potential ill effects of lighting and taking appropriate measures, businesses can create environments that promote productivity, comfort, and inclusivity. Whether through selecting lighting options that support the circadian rhythm, considering the sensitivities of individuals, or enhancing the customer experience, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to creating healthy and thriving spaces for all.

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