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This week I’ve been looking at how and why people adopt innovation. 

The classic book Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M Rogers explains what the different types of audience need – innovators, early adopters and laggards -means and offers some valuable tips for those of us who are on a mission to improve the quality of light in the built environment: how can we help our clients to ‘cross the chasm’?

One of the ways is hard numbers. This report gives some excellent ammunition – 

In this provocative article, Kate Lister points out that ‘Paradoxically, while few business leaders demand an ROI for the $5,500 per person per year they spend on health coverage, most will insist on a cost justification for initiatives such as onsite healthcare, stress counseling, or a healthy building investment…. One of the early WELL Certified building projects added about $150,000 in cost, over and above Gold LEED. The building accommodated about 200 people. Based on a 15-year amortization, that’s $10,000 per year investment. If, as a result of the investment in WELL, less than one person brings their weight down to the recommended level or doesn’t become obese, the entire investment will pay for itself….’ – The 100% Unassigned Workplace: Is It Good Or Bad?

This white paper is another industry-sponsored piece so it’s obviously going to have a particular axe to grind. But it does offer some food for thought- explaining how ‘cyclical light’ exposure that imitates the circadian sleep-wake rhythm ‘significantly reduces crying and agitation in very small premature babies while simultaneously showing faster weight gain and greater daytime activity. It can even cut the length of stay in the hospital’. – The influence of light on premature babies

In this survey that compared nurses in two acute care wards – those with access to a window at their nursing station reported increased communication and laughter – and reduced sleepiness and deteriorated mood decreased compared to those who did not. – Attention Guidance, Perceived Brightness and Energy Demand in Retail Lighting

One for the art-lovers: should museum lighting reflect the conditions that the artwork was created for – or reflect the atmosphere within the artwork itself? or create a link with other pieces on display – or even challenge or subvert that paradigm? – Interpreting Art with Light: Museum Lighting between Objectivity and Hyperrealism

And for those watching your waistline… it’s worth dining in plain sight… in this study half the participants were served super-sized portions, while dining in he dark – they ate 36% more calories and were as keen to see the dessert menu as those who had eaten the regular portions… – Dining in the dark. The importance of visual cues for food consumption and satiety

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