With the invention of the electric light bulb, humans were able to extend the day, accessing hours that were usually surrendered to sleep. Replacing candles and kerosene lamps, light bulbs gave us a safe way to illuminate indoor living spaces after the sun had set for the day. Although we now take electric lighting for granted, they’ve never quite been able to replace the bright light of the sun itself.
Artificial light is just that, artificial. Although light bulbs are becoming more energy efficient, many emit a cold light that some find harsh on the eyes, and taxing on the sensibilities. Curious to understand more about how light affects the body, Italian designer Stefano Pertegato delved deep into the world of lighting and modern living environments. Using what he learned, Pertegato created a dynamic LED lighting system that imitates the sun’s soothing effect on our biological clocks.
Called “Luminarium,” Pertegato’s lighting system uses a trio of LEDs mounted on gears suspended from the ceiling like a normal pendant light. But there’s nothing normal about the light emitted from this system. Unlike normal light bulbs that emit the same amount and quality of light no matter what time of day it is, Luminarium operates on a 12 hour lighting cycle which changes color temperature throughout the day.
In the morning, Luminarium gives off a warm and relaxing light that slowly becomes cold until reaching its peak of in the beginning of the afternoon, turning warm again to mark the natural sunset. “Extended exposure to artificial lighting caused by modern lifestyles has deep consequences for our biological clock, naturally trained by evolution to adapt to its surroundings following the dynamic effects of daylight,” writes Pertegato. By more closely mimicking the diffused appearance of natural daylight, the designer hopes to restore health and vitality to those that spend long hours indoors. See a time lapse video of the system in action here.