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Electric Light Source vs. Natural light

September 15, 2021

Natural Light

It’s long been known that daylight is good for the body and mind. Light has an effect on our consciousness, our health, and our happiness. Some of our biological functions even depend on light.

But how does daylight compare to electrical lighting? 

Not all light is created equal. Exposure to daylight in your home and at your office allows you to reap the benefits of light from our natural world. Electrical light has fewer benefits, fewer positive health effects. Here’s why. 

Electrical Light: What You Need to Know

Although electrical light sources project light in a range of colors on the spectrum, most do not project light on a spectrum that benefits the human body. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting comes close to completing biological functions but does not have the power of natural daylight. 

What’s missing? 

Most fluorescent lights are concentrated in the warmer end of the light spectrum, with red and yellow light heavily represented. Blue light is absent from most electrical lighting. Even energy-efficient fluorescent lighting is concentrated in the yellow and green portions of the spectrum. 

Only full-spectrum fluorescent lighting is most similar to natural daylight because it includes blue light. Whereas natural light can improve mood, boost the immune system, and help the body flourish, most electrical lights do not.

There are other disadvantages of electric light, as well:

  • Cost. Electric light incurs an ongoing cost that adds up. In 2017, the average household electric bill was $111 monthly. 
  • Energy inefficient. Although modern light bulbs are far more efficient than the incandescent light bulbs of years ago, they’re still less energy efficient than simple daylighting, which costs nothing at all. 
  • Negative environmental impact. Electricity for artificial indoor lighting often comes from non-renewable resources. Every time you turn on a light, you’re using energy and broadening your home’s carbon footprint. 

Daylight Creates a Better Indoor Environment

Unlike electric lighting, natural daylight comes with a balanced spectrum of color that benefits the human body. There are many scientific studies that have proven the benefits of natural daylight. Benefits of natural daylight include:

Promotes Natural Sleep Cycle 

Exposure to sunlight encourages the body to create the sleep hormone melatonin when night falls. It is this cycle of exposure to daylight and the creation of melatonin at night that we call the natural circadian rhythm. 

Boosts Mood

Exposure to daylight promotes the development of serotonin in the body. This hormone, also known as the “happiness hormone” regulates mood and helps the body combat problems like depression. 

Prompts the Body to Produce Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone that boosts our immune system, promotes bone health, and allows for proper bone growth. Nearly half the adults in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency, but this is easily rectified. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to daylight, which prompts the body to produce the hormone naturally. 

Promotes Weight Loss, Reduces Blood Pressure

Do you struggle to control your weight? Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Some studies show that moderate exposure to daylight can combat both of these problems while reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.  

Helps You Focus

Exposure to sunlight helps people focus and concentrate, and can help people concentrate on tests. Lighting your home with daylight helps you study at home or work from home. Lighting your workplace or school with daylight helps your employees and students concentrate throughout the day. 

Light Your Life With Natural Daylighting. Contact VTECH for High-Performance Skylights. 

At VTECH, we produce high-performance solid-state skylights made with RIM technology, so our skylights are fused into a solid-state with no opportunities to leak. Our skylights are beautiful, durable, long-lasting and made to improve your life at home and at work. To learn more about how our skylights can benefit your workplace or your home, contact us today

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