It’s summertime, and everyone loves to be outdoors. Perhaps you enjoy time by the pool, outdoor barbecues, or just fun in the sun. Whatever your favorite summertime activity is, now is the time to get out and enjoy the long days. But what if you are stuck indoors most of your day? Is there any way to combat the long hours under artificial lights? Decorative ceiling light covers may be just what you are looking for!
Why We Love the Sun
Humans are built to love the sun. Over millions of years, humans evolved in an environment mostly devoid of artificial late, save the occasional campfire. Even during recent human history, the best artificial light we had was candles and small lamps. While these provided some light, we still lived our lives on the cycles of sunrise and sunset, setting our internal clocks by the motions of the sun.
It’s no surprise that our bodies developed a whole host of systems that rely on the cycles of the sun to set their clocks. Right down to the molecular level, our bodies run on “sun time”.
So what happens when you separate yourself from “sun time”?
Artificial Light and The Change in Human Behavior
In the last century, with the widespread introduction of electric lighting, our lives have undergone drastic changes. People could now stay up late into the night, well after the sun went down and the world grew dark. All kinds of leisure activities are available to us well into the night, such as humans have never seen. Going out late has become a habit for humans across the developed world.
Unfortunately, not all late-night lighting is for leisure. As society changes and the pace of life and business picks up, more and more people are working late into the night. To make matters even worse, in the last couple of decades the amount of “screen time” adults subject themselves to has skyrocketed. Most of the light that comes from our many devices is shifted strongly towards short waves or blue light. This is the same kind of light we get naturally at midday. That fools the body into thinking it is midday, throwing off all of our internal clocks.
Darkness Poverty and Lack of Sleep
One of the greatest tragedies of our modern lighting system is that the developed world experiences tremendous “darkness poverty”. We are starved of darkness, so our bodies just don’t know when it’s time to sleep. Artificial light at the wrong times of day is making it harder for us to sleep.
The results of inadequate sleep can be very serious. The biggest problem is that people are really poor judges of how tired they are or how impaired they are by lack of sleep. On a physiological level, lack of sleep can lead to hormonal changes that lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and many of the ailments common to developed societies. It may even play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Artificial Light and Office Workers
Some of the worst sufferers from artificial light are office workers. Unfortunately, that makes up a very sizeable portion of the adult population. When most large office buildings, and many smaller buildings, were built, no one was thinking about the quality of light. Instead, the goal was to deliver enough light to work by in the cheapest and most energy efficient way possible. For decades, the cheapest most energy efficient way to provide light was with fluorescent lights. No one ever claimed that they were the most beautiful lighting solution, but for the purposes of business, they were perfect.
Because of those business decisions, most office workers now receive most of their light during most of their waking hours from fluorescent lights. This has many negative effects. Depending on the style and setup of the lighting, the issues may vary slightly.
Some offices are just not adequately lit. In an office that is even a little bit too dark, your body starts to respond in a number of undesirable ways. First, your eyes squint and work harder to see, because the light is not adequate to see by, even if it is only slightly so. Second, the dim light simulates dusk, and your body starts to produce hormones, such as melatonin, associated with the late afternoon and early evening. Normally these hormones prepare you for an on-time bedtime (shortly after it gets dark). But if you are getting those signals all day long, you may feel unnaturally fatigued throughout your day.
The opposite problem occurs when there is an overabundance of light. Very often, unfiltered fluorescent lights can create a glaring blue-ish light that simulates midday light all day long. Some offices think this kind of light is desirable to keep people alert throughout the day. In fact, it is having a number of adverse side effects.
When your eyes have to adjust to bright light and glare, the muscles in the eye have to contract. In addition, the facial muscles tense into a slight squint to avoid too much light. These combined physical exertions can cause a slow buildup of physical fatigue.
The all-day exposure to midday light also throws off the body’s internal clock. When your body clock is confused, it may be more difficult to get restful sleep in the right amounts and at the right times. This can lead to long-term sleep deficiency and sleep debt. Sleep debt is associated with many types of cognitive and psychological impairment. Common solutions such as caffeine consumption only work temporarily. While caffeine is in your body, the receptors for the hormones that make you feel tired are blocked. But the hormones just build up. When the caffeine dissipates, the built-up tiredness hormones cause the common caffeine crash.
Better Light With Decorative Ceiling Light Covers
While darkness poverty is hard to combat in the workplace, the damage from fluorescent lights is not. In fact, there is a very simple solution that can solve many of the worst problems. Decorative ceiling light covers, also called fluorescent light covers and fluorescent light filters, are cheap and easy to install. Decorative ceiling light covers from Octo Lights are less than $30 a piece. They take just minutes to install and may require no tools or just a simple flathead screwdriver.
The benefits of decorative ceiling light covers are immediate. Glaring light is softened by the filtering effect of the light covers. The spectrum of the light is also shifted. The covers block some of the blue light and let through a more even light spectrum that is better received by the body. These two features of decorative ceiling light covers can very quickly improve mood and relieve fatigue.
Another benefit of decorative ceiling light covers is their beautiful designs. You can choose form Octo Lights’ wide selection of designs , or upload your own high-resolution image. With brilliant scenes of nature, you can bring the outdoors indoors, calming your mind and spirit. If you’re missing being outdoors this summer, try our cloud fluorescent light panels. If you love nature, you can put in a decorative light cover with trees or flowers . With the option to upload your own design, the possibilities are limitless.
Take a look at our full collection of decorative light covers and find the one you like best. It only takes a few days from when you order to when you receive your product. So start living with excellent light today!