The ENLIGHTENme project aims to advance the understanding of how indoor and outdoor lighting affects health and wellbeing, particularly in elderly populations. It will develop innovative, evidence-based guidelines and policies for measures, technologies, and interventions that can be implemented with a dedicated Decision Support System to help both citizens and city leaders improve public health and wellbeing.
ENLIGHTENme is an international consortium, subsidized by the EU under Horizon 2020 projects.
On 16 and 17 December 2021, the consortium organized an international online conference, of which the proceedings are now online. The theme was ‘shaping light for health and wellbeing in cities’. Our board member Jan Denneman presented the guide of good light for health, wellbeing and the circadian rhythm.
Scientific studies from recent decades make very clear that light is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Good light does much more than enabling us to see. It is the most important “zeitgeber” for our brain and body to synchronize our internal circadian clock with the natural light dark cycle. This enables better sleep, more daytime energy, better mood and improvement of our immune system.
The best light to synchronize our circadian clock is daylight. This has the intensity, colour and dynamics to do so effectively. Indoor lighting, however, is often not intense enough and too static. During daytime it needs to be at least five times more intense and more dynamic than is the current lighting practice.
LED technologies make it possible to mimic the positive aspects of daylight indoors. In the evening and at night, the exposure to electric light should be much lower than current practice. This offers vital opportunities for new lighting designs and solutions and a health and well-being revolution for the more than 90% of society with a daytime indoor activity.