Blue-Enriched Lights May Stop Drowsiness at Work

Falling Asleep at Work?Falling Asleep at Work?

Have you ever gone into work and just felt sleepy the whole day and couldn’t get going? Well, lighting may play a big part in your drowsiness.

Researchers at the Surrey Sleep Centre at the University of Surrey in conjunction with Philips Lighting did a study showing that changing the traditional white lights in an office to blue-enriched white light helped office workers stay more awake during the day.

The research showed improvements in attitudes, making them more positive, and also enhancing work performance. The change in lighting also improved a worker’s irritability, ability to concentrate and focus, and eye strain. Participants in the study also reported a better night’s sleep.

The study was conducted on 104 white-collar workers on two office levels. Each person was exposed to two new lighting conditions, each lasting 4 weeks. One consisted of blue-enriched white light (17 000 K) and the other of white light (4000 K). The participants then took questionairres and were rated to assess factors such as alertness, mood, sleep quality, performance, mental effort, headache and eye strain, and mood, throughout the 8 weeks of this study.

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, who lead the experiment, said, “This research may indeed imply that our currently used artificial office lighting is suboptimal for maintaining alertness.”

So if you find yourself dosing at work and unable to concentrate, maybe it’s the lighting. Either that or stop staying out so late at night.


Source: University of Surrey

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Oct 31, 2008
by Anonymous

I don't agree

Fluorescent light is already on the blue side and makes people look sick. More blue added and it gets closer to ultraviolet, and you know how that makes things look! Not only that, it has been proven that fluorescent light is harmful to the brain due to the unnoticeable flicker it produces.

Nov 3, 2008
by Anonymous

Magnetic fluorescent

Magnetic fluorescent ballasts are more likely to be blamed for "flicker" problems (i.e., headaches) than the new energy effecient electronic fluorescent ballasts. The reason being, magnetic ballasts operate at 60HZ whereas electronic ballasts can operate somewhere between 24kHZ and 27kHZ, meaning any "flicker" effects are more than likely eliminated.

As for lamp colors (CCT), the higher kelvin temps can indeed look blue, however their health benefits can outweigh any negative appearances and can even be eliminated if the interior color designs are accentuated by the bluer fluorescents (i.e., blues, greens, silver, etc.).