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The Power of Natural Light

Written by John Walters, Co-Founder of Questae Collective, in collaboration with NatureConnect by Signify

Even before Covid-19 and the enforced lockdown, we were fast becoming a nation of people who preferred to stay indoors. Parents didn’t want their kids out late, understandably so, yet at the same time we also didn’t want them glued to their games consoles, or devices. We have a million and one TV channels to choose from now (I remember when we had 3)…

Perhaps one of the positives of the pandemic is that it has helped us to get out more often. Essentially, we had nothing left to do except either be stuck indoors at home or get out and about. The number of people I have spoken to who have spent time exploring their local area is vast, they discovered majesty just around their corner, discovered a love for walking, for exercising, for getting out as a family, or when peace is needed, on their own.

But some of the greatest things we have discovered, without really realising it, are the wonderful and amazing benefits of natural light. Many of us have been working from home, close to a window, and whilst it may not have been opened during the winter, we have still enjoyed peering out, watching the cars go by, the kids on their scooters, or even the archetypical middle aged bloke on a bike in Lycra (that’ll be me then!), and now of course with the lighter, brighter days, and longer evenings we are all now really feeling the benefits, gratitude and appreciation for the sun.

So, what happens when we go back to our offices, when we go back to the city or town, or wherever the office may be? How are we going to ensure we maintain, manage, and continue to reap the rewards and benefits of natural light?

We have been extremely keen to understand this subject more so we can share with you why it is so important to understand the power of natural light, so we have collaborated with the brilliant Dutch organisation, NatureConnect by Signify, who have shared some simply brilliant information, guidance, and advice…

The NatureConnect lighting innovation by Signify brings the benefits of natural light indoors to create comfortable, engaging, and inspiring environments while improving wellbeing. The proposition is built on proven biophilic design principles, which use elements of nature in interior spaces, to reconnect us with the outside world.

In our modern world, people spend on average more than 90% of their time indoors, where they lack access to sufficient daylight to support their wellbeing.

Exposure to the right amount of light during the day, as well as the colours and dynamics from nature, are vital to us in many ways. They strongly impact our mood, energy levels, comfort, and our wellbeing in general.

The importance of energetic and engaged employees has become a boardroom priority. NatureConnect’s lighting proposition is designed to benefit the wellbeing of both body and mind, and in return, lead to increased productivity, engagement, and workplace satisfaction.

Our bodies are made to live in sync with nature, and recent research shows that nature has a huge impact on our physiological, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Workers in offices with natural elements such as plants and sunlight report a +15% higher level of wellbeing, a +6% higher level of productivity and a +15% higher level of creativity.

Yet when we remain indoors most of us are not getting the necessary doses of daylight (or vitamin D) to feel happy and healthy. Exposure to daylight is very important for our mood, energy levels, comfort, productivity, quality of sleep and our health and wellbeing in general. Light enables us to see better, function better, and feel better!

The NatureConnect lighting proposition is inspired by nature and brings the benefits of natural light indoors. It reconnects us with the constant cycles and variations of nature for comfortable, engaging, and attractive indoor environments. Harnessing, and using the right light at the right moment, using the right light for different activities and spaces, and using dynamic light throughout the day, allows us to follow the daily rhythm of the sun, the so-called circadian rhythm.

The many benefits are undeniable. On an individual and personal level, wellbeing is enhanced by supporting the body’s natural day-night rhythm, which helps us to stay active during the day and sleep well at night, as well as bringing the association with nature indoors, which helps to stimulate positive emotional and mental health.

On a team level, performance is boosted by improved engagement and workplace satisfaction, making people feel more energetic, as well as stimulating interaction and collaboration. And lastly, by creating inspiring environments, your company identity will be enhanced. Offering flexibility to adjust the lighting scene for different activities, allows an organisation to create a vibrant, joyful, immersive, and happy atmosphere.

Whatever the space is being used for, and let’s face it, in today’s office the physical environment needs to support many differing, and often complex as well as competing needs, with the right lighting you will create a healthy, engaging, and attractive work environment for your employees.

NatureConnect combines various LED luminaires – Daylight, Skylight and Lightscape – with intuitive control to create natural lighting scenes tailored to people’s needs.

The Daylight to support our natural rhythm: Mimicking the rhythm of sunlight to support us to be active during the day and rest well at night.

The Skylight providing a view to the sky: Creating the perception of space beyond the walls to give a feeling of freedom and sense of time.

The Lightscape to become fully immersed in nature: Bringing the colours and dynamics from nature to stimulate positive emotions, boost creativity and support people to actively work together.

Keep enjoying your walk around the corner, but for the remaining long hours we spend indoors, make sure you create a healthy environment which at the same time has an inviting and pleasant atmosphere, one of optimal context to stimulate interaction and collaboration.

Let’s bring the benefits of natural light indoors.

NatureConnect is available to customers in Europe and selected countries globally.

For more information, visit  www.signify.com/natureconnect or contact Lisan Crommentuijn. Lisan is happy to be contacted and if there is an interest, explain and explore in depth how lighting can influence our health and wellbeing.

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