Tunable White Circadian Rhythm What You Need to Know

Tunable White Circadian Rhythm

What You Need to Know

What’s the deal with tunable white circadian rhythm and what does it all mean? Welcome to the world of lighting innovation, and the industry is going wild for tunable white technology, for good reason! Outside of its aesthetically pleasing style, research shows that the new technology can actually be beneficial to one’s health and well-being.

But how so? This is where we’ll begin, so strap in!

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Part One: Circadian Rhythm

The best way to start explaining the benefits of tunable white circadian rhythm lighting is to divide things in two, beginning with circadian rhythm. This comes from the human circadian rhythm, or the internal 24-hour clock all humans have, which helps differentiate daytime and nighttime. This essentially means that circadian lighting works alongside the natural human clock, and using light to influence the human circadian rhythm is the newest place of opportunity. At the moment, there are three types of different light approaches:

  1. Intensity Tuning: The most common and cost-effective approach to circadian lighting. The fixtures keep a fixed CCT, or correlated color temperature, while the intensity can be changed through a dimming system.
  2.  Color Tuning: Mimics the day and night time cycle by changing the light intensity and CCT.
  3. Stimulus Tuning: Approaches lighting technology with a “good blue” and “bad blue” aspect, one that closely mimics the daylight spectrum. Similar to color tuning, this approach works best with intensity tuning.

Important to note that companies like Lutron and Ketra call circadian lighting, “human centric lighting.” For Lutron, lighting isn't just illumination - it's a powerful philosophy that supports well-being, comfort, and productivity, and for Ketra, human-centric lighting is dynamic, flexible light that simulates natural light and enhances the human experience.

Circadian lighting has a new home in the lighting industry, and as more studies come out about its benefits, designers hope to refine the concept to its best where it can continue supporting people’s well-being in a variety of places. But remember, circadian rhythm is only one part of the equation, let’s start with the second half of this new lighting technology.

Part Two: Tunable White

            If circadian lighting follows the human 24-hour natural clock, how does tunable white technology come into the picture? Tunable white lighting is a technology that helps enable users to adjust the color temperature in real time. Tunable white lighting fixtures help adjust color temperature and intensity and can provide an enhanced design flexibility with a wide range of personal control options.

Lutron, as an example, uses tunable white control solutions that contain a few unique considerations, including:

  • Fixtures and lighting controls must be chosen at the same time to ensure compatibility and performance.
  • There are different fixtures to choose from, to achieve the desired results, it’s critical to design a specialized mixture that enables separate control of intensity and color temperature.
  •  Digital protocols are important to achieve precise control over color temperatures. With Lutron, it’s the Lutron EcoSystem.

Part Three: The New Lighting Frontier

            Lighting technology continues to improve and innovate, and one of the greatest advantages of tunable white light is its ability to enhance the level of the human experience. As people’s understanding of color temperature and how it impacts everyday life, lighting will eventually become more personalized. The environment affects how one feels and how they perform their everyday tasks.

To learn more about tunable white lighting and circadian rhythm, feel free to read the following:

https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Education-Training/Pages/LCE/ColorTuning.aspx

https://www.usailighting.com/tunable-white-light

https://www.thelightingpractice.com/what-is-circadian-lighting/

https://bioslighting.com/human-centric-lighting/what-is-circadian-lighting-and-how-does-it-work/

https://www.lutron.com/en-US/Pages/commercial-solutions/humancentriclighting.aspx

https://www.ketra.com/faq/what-is-human-centric-lighting

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