Monday, 9 January 2017

The Kenko Light - Ideal for Dark Times

Nicki Edgell

Light, whether at home or work, has a huge effect on our well-being

The Importance of Light

Of course there are many factors that affect workplace productivity and well being. But according to a recent report one that is usually fairly low down the list for most employers is office lighting. However a recent study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of employees complain about the lighting situation in their offices. When you think about it this shouldn't be too surprising. Lighting, whether for work or domestic purposes, is obviously important both physically and emotionally.

The best light you can get is natural light. So if you can sit near a window that is ideal. However that isn't always possible. In some large offices, and especially large department stores, there can be many hundreds of square footage of artificially lit ceiling, without a natural daylight window in sight. Even outside of work we rarely take the opportunity to absorb natural light; it is now estimated that most of us spend more than 90% of our time indoors. In winter many people go days without seeing any natural light at all.
Natural light has been proven to boost productivity far more than the artificial overhead lights with which many company buildings are filled. If that isn’t an option, buy a lamp with a focused point of light and point its beam at your immediate workspace.

The Drawbacks of Artificial Lighting

Employees most often complain of lighting that is either too dim or too harsh. Dim lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, because, when lighting is inadequate, the eyes are forced to work much harder in order to see. Dim lighting can also result in drowsiness and lack of focus, which would obviously have a negative impact on employee motivation. On the other hand harsh lighting, is much more common than dim lighting and is just as harmful. Florescent lighting is particularly unkind on employees, known to cause a number of negative effects including eye strain and migraines - we wouldn't dream of having these monstrous light tubes in our homes so why do we think it's ok in the office?

The Nikken Kenkolight is ideal for home or office and retails for £120 in theUK

Be Natural if You Can

The best alternative to harsh lighting and dim lighting systems is of course natural light itself. In a UK study published in “The Responsible Workplace,” it was shown that windows were the number one determinant of the occupants’ level of satisfaction with a building! This effect is due to lighting’s ability to affect the human body in two ways: directly, in the form of affecting what and how well we are able to see, and indirectly, in the form of effects on our mood, behaviour, and even hormonal balance.
Natural lighting renovations have been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity.
A major office renovation may initially involve some cost of course but many companies are finding the gains due to energy savings and more importantly productivity more than make up for the cost of the initial investment. And it doesn't necessarily need to cost too much. There is nothing to stop individual employees installing their own desk lamp to alleviate the negative effects of overhead lighting. Many employers will be happy to provide these. By pointing a local light over your work space you can reassert some control over your personal light and banish annoying overhead shadows.

Light Designed to Replicate Sunlight

Where you are confined indoors most of the time, whether at home or at work, it is advantageous to use  full spectrum lighting. Our eyes respond better to artificial light which closely replicates the intensity and range of colours found in natural daylight. People who work under full spectrum light report feeling less tired and moody and experience reduced eyestrain. These types of lamps are also beneficial for alleviating the effects of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which is naturally problematic during the long winter months.

The Nikken Kenkolight is a full spectrum natural daylight lamp that comes with an adjustable arm which makes it ideal as a desk spotlight or a background mood light. Equally suitable for home, work, office or bedroom, the lamp has three brightness settings, a LED display clock, an alarm (with gradual waking setting if desired), and USB port.

To learn more about the Kenkolight please have a look at this factsheet or feel free to contact me for details.

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About the Author

Nicki Edgell

I am a clinical Psycho-neuro-immunologist, Metabolic Balance Coach, Natural Nutritionist and Independent Nikken Consultant. I practice in Brighton in the South of England, helping individuals and groups towards the health, vitality and the life they want for themselves. I work under the principle that wellness depends on a balanced holistic approach to living, in all areas of your life: your body, mind, family, community and financial health all have an impact on your wellbeing.


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