We all need light. Without it we are unable to function and life, as we know it, would be very different. However, too much light, especially artificial light, can be a huge problem. Everyday people are exposed to large amounts of artificial light even during the day from office lighting, computer monitors, TVs and even domestic lights that are put on during the day. This excessive exposure has a name – Indoor Light Pollution. New research shows that the effects of this on the body maybe much worse than was initially thought.
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Early research showed that inadequate exposure to natural light could affect cognitive abilities. The human brain, like that of most other mammals, is tuned to a day/night cycle and functions at its best when it is exposed to adequate amounts of natural sunlight. The human body is a very flexible organism and is able to adapt to conditions quickly and continue to function at optimum levels. However, if it is placed in conditions that it is not designed for over a long period of time, the effects of the unnatural environment will begin to show. But now there is more cause for worry than the issue of cognitive ability.
Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands studied the health of rats that were exposed to excessive artificial light. Their health, over a period of some months,was compared to another group that was exposed to much less artificial light. The results showed that the rats that had more artificial light exposure had less muscle tone than the other group and also showed signs of the early stages of osteoporosis. The rats exposed to artificial light also became fatter and had indications of weakened immune systems.There were also signs of muscle atrophy and reduced motor performance.
The Way Out
Luckily, it appears that the effects of this indoor light pollution are reversible. When the rats in the study group were returned to normal levels of artificial light exposure, their health returned to the pre-study levels after a few weeks.
The modern city dweller lives an indoor life, often lit by artificial light. Even at home, many houses require electric light to be used during the day because not enough natural light is able to enter. The use of daylighting systems will go a long way in reducing the dependence of artificial light during the day and allow for the human metabolism to function in a more natural light environment.
A Healthy Home
Daylighting systems use light capture devices and special tubing to carry sunlight through walls and ceilings to even the most interior parts of a building. They are easy to install and once in place, have no operating cost. In fact, the availability of natural light indoors means that the use of electric lighting can be reduced which will help to bring down utility bills. Great lighting, better health and economy all in one package is something that no homeowner should ignore. To find out more, contact a daylighting systems dealer.