It’s tempting to stay in our cosy bubble with other ‘good’ people who are sold on the value of good-quality lighting and even perhaps, ‘Human Centred Lighting’ – by which I mean Kevin Houser’s simple and balanced definition as lighting that ‘considers the visual and non-visual effects of light in support of positive human outcomes’… – Human-Centric Lighting: Foundational Considerations and a Five-Step Design Process (i.e. not necessarily ‘tunable’ / cool to warm).
Even if you don’t buy the productivity and well-being argument – and it’s not a one size fits all and even gold-plated lighting won’t up for an unhealthy culture – just building a reputation as an organisation that cares for its people can cut recruitment costs in half – 7 Ways Employer Branding Impacts Business ROI and Reduces Recruitment Costs by Jody Ordioni. And according to Deloitte, every £1 spent on employee well-being reaps a £5 return to the bottom line – Mental health and employers. In fairness the article was written in 2018 before the pandemic and the current interest among business leaders in physical and mental health.
I’d love to know what you would say to Eric- and the millions of businessmen and women like him for whom investing in ‘fancy’ lighting is a sign of hubris, a company gone hopelessly soft and sliding rapidly – albeit stylishly – down the slippery slope of distraction from the things that really count.
We talk a lot about the mood-boosting, sleep-enhancing power of light, so it’s easy to forget the basic need for good-quality lighting where we sit to work – at home or in the office. One recent paper found that, compared to previous work at the office, 39.1 % reported stronger pain in the lower back, 45.7 % in the upper back/neck, and 63 (27.2 %) in their hands, conditions directly linked to light and lighting.
And use the 20-20-20 rule – I set my phone to beep every 20 minutes – lean back, take a breath, look up and blink – and smile.
Do your eyes feel a bit dry and itchy by the end of the week? If so you’re not alone. Computer vision syndrome and dry eyes affect nearly half of all U.S. adults and up to 33% of patients in eye care clinics present with complaints about dry eye – Understanding prevalence, demographics of dry eye disease
Death and taxes…
I’ve been sorting out Lasting Power of Attorney and writing my will this week. Partly because I’m planning a trip (more on that net week). But also because, like taxes, it’s always the thing that gets bumped off the to do list. Like taxes, death is the only thing we can be absolutely certain of. It may seem unconnected but I’ve also been doing up my little home and making a gazillion small choices about the materials and, yes, the lights. This is a grade two listed building. It has been here for a couple of centuries before I came on the scene and for several more after that Will gets triggered. A third strand, again, from a different zone is that I have had the privilege of spending a little time with my beloved nieces – the inspiration for the Luna campaign and for my work now. Pondering what I will leave them – after all the only truly lasting legacy is the example that you set.