Researchers are exploring the relationship between light and mood of the building occupants because of the significant impact of light on architecture. Light has the quality to uplift any space when done right. We experience mood changes manipulated by the lighting of the environment. For example, a bright room with abundant light makes one feel energized; the same room dimmed creates a slower pace of activity in the occupants.
In a place where lighting isn’t dramatic, like an office building, moods change because the lighting system may be more subtle and not as distinguished. Even a tiny change in the lighting can change the state of emotions for the occupants.
A positive or a negative effect is produced when there is a presence or absence of light, along with other environmental conditions. Good lighting instils the occupants with a sensation of excitement and alertness. Conversely, poor lighting causes dullness and boredom. These further affect the societal behavioural response of the occupants.
At any workplace, the user is required to have top-notch problem-solving skills. Thus, A good lit workstation would enhance this skill further. Also, when people are in a good mood and energized, they have a better performance. The light intensity, colour, or scenery, which touches the senses gives rise to a behavioural reaction. Suppose a badly dim-lit desk causes the user to slouch and eventually slacks through their performance. Again, suppose the same desk but with excessive lighting. It ensures alertness but also causes the user to exert beyond comfort. They eventually burn out too. Thus, ambient lighting is essential for the task.
The fundamental points for lighting design include how much light is available (illuminance), the light required for the intended activity and the quality of that light. Thus, lighting conditions producing positive effects influence the cognitive task performance. But again, it is misleading to assume that greater illuminance means a better mood and more productivity.
Lighting is like an integral structural element of any room that can change the perception of any space, which includes spatial comprehension, pathways and orientations.
Unlike Artificial lighting, which has static properties, Daylight has a quality of dynamism. This changing aspect of natural light has made it difficult to study from a psychological perspective. There is an innate preference for Sunlight, related to its dynamic character that affects the hormonal and physiological process, thus further influencing psychological well-being. The fact that most people prefer natural lighting and feel more comfortable with daylit conditions remains prevalent.
Daylight is inseparably associated with windows and openings within the envelope of a building. Typically, these two go hand in hand and are inextricable. Windows play numerous roles and has varying effects on the internal environment and its occupants. Daylight adds an ambience to the room that isn’t achievable with artificial lighting.
Windows allow diffused light into the room while also providing views to the outside. Hence, adding a feeling of openness, spaciousness and a sense of orientation. Thanks to technological progress, large glass façade designs permit light and provide views to the outdoors. The technological advancement has also enabled the construction of long-spanning structural systems and floor plates that let adequate light in the building, reducing the lighting energy costs.
The value of anything is learnt when one is bereft of it. A person’s behaviour who lives and works in a windowless space differs from who has one. It is essential to have some visual connection with the outside world. The windowless worker yearns for landscape, which indicates a need for connection to the natural world. Windowless offices are like a dark tartan hole which causes a high level of dissatisfaction among its workers.
The question remains that to what extent light affects the psychological well-being in addition to their performance. Most Post-occupancy analyses evaluate the physical and ecological characteristics of the workplace, such as views, natural light, acoustics, and privacy are significant design considerations. Daylight and views are the deciding factors for workers when they choose their workplace. People may not notice their lighting, thermal, or acoustic conditions unless these conditions are poor. Environmental assessments, therefore, need to consider this in post-occupancy evaluations and surveys.
Whenever you lack the will to do any task, change your environment and draw the curtains open, let the blast of natural light infuse you with energy. Open your window for fresh air and get to work. Let the brightness guide you towards your goals.
Picture source- Thumbnail- tenor.com/view/disney-beauty-and-the-beast-lumiere-dim-dimming-the-lights-gif-15810099