Lack of Light Affects Health

Lack of Light Affects Health

A survey of 2,000 British consumers has shown almost one in five admit to suffering from an ailment due to making the wrong choices when it comes to lighting their homes. Despite this, almost half of adults surveyed said although they felt lighting was a necessity, they also admitted to giving it little thought.

The research, which was undertaken by Ledvance, has highlighted it’s the younger generation who say their health and wellbeing is being more widely impacted by lighting. A third (32.5 per cent) of 16-24 year olds said they have suffered an ailment, such as a seizure, visual problem or migraine due to poor lighting, compared to only one in ten (11.8 per cent) of the over 55s.

The majority of adults (83.4 per cent) feel lighting has some level of impact on a person’s wellbeing, while even more (88.7 per cent) recognise the link between light and mood. However, many are also failing to prioritise light in the home. 41.5 per cent of British adults only make a lightbulb purchase when one needs replacing and only 15.5 per cent remember to buy spares so they aren’t left in the dark. Meanwhile, just 8.5 per cent of adults place importance on changing the lighting at home to provide a more positive impact on their wellbeing.

Dr Vikki Revell, University of Surrey, has over 16 years’ experience on the non-visual effects of light on physiology, behaviour, the circadian clock and sleep patterns. She said: “Despite the Danish ‘hygge’ craze continuing to sweep the nation endorsing the importance of creating a warm and bright atmosphere in the home, Brits still seem to be in the dark about the benefits of light in their lives.

“The effect that our lighting environment can have on a person’s health and wellbeing can be dramatic and the absence of a bright, daytime light environment can manifest itself in symptoms such as fatigue and a low mood. Taking steps to consider whether you have the correct lighting in your home may have a marked difference on the way you and indeed the way your whole family may feel.”

Pamela Fossey, National Account Manager, from Ledvance, said: “We spend on average 87 per cent of our time inside; therefore especially in winter there is a real need to think about how we can make the most of the lighting available to us in order to gain the most benefit.

“Light is personal and by making just small tweaks to your lighting can have a big impact on how it could make family members feel. For example, during the day it’s important to be exposed to a sufficient amount of light with a cool colour temperature, such as the light produced by fluorescent lamps or LEDs with a bluish daylight white light colour. Meanwhile in the evening wellbeing can be helped through the use of lamps with a low proportion of blue light. Of course it’s also essential to ensure you spend as much time as possible in natural daylight.”