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Apple’s latest IOS (9.3, currently in beta) includes a feature they are calling Night Shift. Very similar to the popular Flux app pulled from the App Store by Apple last year, it can automatically adjust the colour temperature of your phone at night to reduce the blue light.

Ok. But what’s wrong with blue light?

The technology used in iPhone displays results in them having a higher concentration of blue light than natural light. This proves a problem at night as blue light is proven to affect the levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin which in turn affects your sleep patterns.

More worrying still is that changes in sleep patterns can start to shift the body’s natural clock, known as its circadian rhythm.  Studies have shown that far from simply controlling our wakefulness, circadian rhythms also control other clocks within the body that dictate function in organs.

This blue light focus isn’t new, in fact there was plenty of media frenzy around the impact of LED on our health in July last year which we wrote about in our article ” Are LEDs harming your eyesight? The facts behind the headlines.

Enough about the bad stuff. How can we use this knowledge to design healthy lighting schemes?

There are LED solutions which can be programmed to automatically adjust the colour temperature during the day. On display at our London Experience Centre, they could be used to reduce the levels of blue light as you are heading to bed. Conversely you could choose to boost the level of  blue light during the day to make you feel more alert and active.

We have recently finished an install of a 40 square metre artificial skylight in a prestigious London Hotel which utilises colour shift LED to affect the mood in the restaurant. The colour can be subtly adjusted to suit the occasion. More info on this exciting project coming soon!

Johanna Fright
Brand Guardian at Ideaworks

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