Light – A Collective Wellness Series

Jewel Toned InteriorsBlog Leave a Comment

A study conducted by the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell showed that employees seated within 10 feet of a window reported an 84% decrease in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision symptoms.


The next critical component within the WELL Building Standard is light. If you have not done so already, I encourage you to read the previous blogs on Air, Water, and Nourishment. Light is the main contribution to circadian rhythm, how bodies naturally wake up and go to sleep. When there is a disruption in our circadian rhythm, it can have long term mental, physical and biological effects.

¬†Views to the outdoors have significant research on its correlation with productivity and mental health. However, workplaces, hotels, and hospital environments do not take into consideration the light levels that synchronize to our natural circadian rhythm. Imagine if you were in a hospital bed overnight and the lighting was tuned to adjust to warmer light as the sun went down and cooler light as you woke? This can have a large impact on the patient’s health. Norwegian airlines that fly across the world have lighting that is tuned to natural circadian rhythm so the flyer experiences less jet lag.

Some ways to improve light within your environment are the addition of skylights and minimizing glare with window treatments. You want to maximize your daylight with views to the outdoors which can mean moving private offices and conference rooms towards the center of a space and allowing the open workplace access to the outside views.

It is also important to note that all lighting is not created equally. Depending on the space you are designing, the light levels should accurately reflect the tasks in each area. For example, a surgical room should have different light levels than a workplace environment. You can control light levels with multiple layers of lighting by providing general illumination in a space and a task lamp closer to a work surface. To create a healthy space it is essential to understand the needs of the users.

WELL aims to provide a lighting environment that reduces circadian phase disruption, improves sleep quality and positively impacts mood and productivity.


Interested in implementing these concepts into your project design? Please email me at to discuss how we can make your vision, realized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *