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Live in your best light

February 2023
Live in your best light
A healthy circadian rhythm improves sleep, wellbeing
Don't let Daylight Saving Time leave you in the dark
All living things depend on light to survive, but did you know that the light you are exposed to throughout the day (and night) can affect your health? With Daylight Saving Time beginning soon for most states in the U.S. (exceptions are Arizona and Hawaii) as well as much of Canada, it is important to know the best way to utilize the amount of daylight you are exposed to each day.
Living beings experience 24-hour sleep/wake cycles called circadian rhythms. That simply means that people need bright days and dim/dark nights to match what their body expects. Recent lighting research finds that people are at their best when exposed to bright light early in the day and dimmer light in the late afternoon and evening. That kind of light "dose" has to be experienced daily to maintain the circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep and overall health and wellbeing.
Here are a few simple changes anyone can make right now:
  • Incorporate windows into your plan. If daylight is not available in your daytime work area, consider adding a softly diffused light source about arm’s length away from where most time is spent during the day. Something diffused through a shade or other source will be easier on the eyes and make it easy to continue focusing on tasks at hand while maintaining proper light exposure.
  • Utilize lighting controls, such as dimmers or smart control products. If lights are on dimmers, a timer can be set as a reminder of when to turn down the light level in the evening. With smart controls, it is possible to program the lights to automatically adjust according to the time of day.
A lighting professional at a nearby ALA-member showroom can help design a lighting plan for a beautiful, functional, and healthy living space. With hundreds of member showrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada, the ALA tag means you will find the best selection, prices, and expertise in those retail outlets.
For more about the importance of maintaining good circadian rhythm, listen to ALA's podcast, "Bright Days, Dark Nights." Mark Rea and Jennifer Brons of the Mount Sinai Light and Health Research Center discuss how lighting can affect people's health, both negatively and positively. To listen, click here. More interesting home lighting-related podcasts are available at
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