I recently caught up with Mark Moody, Product Manager Shading & Residential Controls Legrand North & Central America to talk about wellness technologies in the residential space, the Vantage HCL system, and the role of shading systems. Part 1.
Maureen Jenson: There is a growing demand for wellness technologies in the residential space, with a particular focus on human-centric lighting (HCL) systems. Why is indoor lighting important and what impact does HCL have on our health?
Mark Moody: Basically, it all comes down to our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms. These still take their cues from external environmental elements, primarily the Earth’s natural lighting cycle. We depend on this cycle for hormone production, metabolism, and sleep cycles — basically our entire well-being. So, the optimal lighting conditions for humans are what we see outside. That’s a problem, because we spend most of our time — around 90 percent or so — indoors. And for many of us, the lighting in the home and workplace entails a multitude of artificial light sources generally set to one light level and color temperature— no matter what time of day or night it is. This artificial light can confuse our internal clocks, resulting in negative impacts on our sleep, health, and even emotional stability.
HCL systems address this issue by combining automated lighting control with LED lamps and light fixtures that can change their color tone or intensity to mimic the dynamic range of natural sunlight. Essentially, the goal of these systems is to render ideal natural lighting conditions indoors to help improve the well-being of homeowners. And while it’s not designed to bring our internal clocks perfectly in line with the constantly changing position of the sun — which just isn’t possible in the modern world — HCL can help people create a personalized circadian rhythm that matches their lifestyle and helps them to fall asleep more easily, wake up better rested, and be more active throughout the day.
MJ: What sets Vantage HCL systems apart from other solutions on the market?
MM: The brains of any HCL system is the controller, and the capabilities of our InFusion Controller II are what really separate Vantage from the pack. It has the ability to precisely determine longitude and latitude, which allows the controller to automatically calculate sunrise, sunset, day length and therefore twilight times on any given day for its location. It can then set the lighting schedule accordingly to mirror the ideal daylight conditions throughout the day — no human intervention required.
MJ: What about shading systems? What role do they play in the well-lit home?
MM: Shading systems support an HCL application by conveniently controlling the admission of natural light into the home. Proper daylighting design balances the levels of natural and electric light in the home to provide greater comfort and optimal light conditions. Our InFusion Controller II allows for seamless integration with automated shading systems like QMotion, enabling the two to work in harmony to provide ideal natural lighting conditions and daylighting throughout the day, without homeowners having to lift a finger.
Stay tuned next week when Mark discusses what dealers should be highlighting with a Vantage HCL system, what homeowners need to know and the COVID-19 pandemic.