Make Lighting Healthier

Artificial illumination can stop us sleeping and make us ill. We need fresh strategies and technologies, argues Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska. 


Life on Earth evolved in day-and-night cycles. Plants and animals, including insects such as the fruit fly, have a biological clock that controls their circadian rhythms — as the 2017 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine showed. Now, humans’ increasing reliance on artificial lighting is changing those rhythms1.

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For all these reasons, I still use the old incandescent light sources in my home, sleep in complete darkness and spend at least one hour each morning in bright daylight to activate my circadian clock — as do many lighting designers, physicians and chronobiologists. It is imperative that we return to the bright day and dark night cycle that evolution engraved in us.

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