Introducing Human Light Interaction
A new field of study, HLI seeks to better understand human interactions with light and create technologies that better serve the needs of those interactions.
Human life has evolved to follow the sun. The sun’s predictable delivery of light and dark synchronizes our daily cycle of physiological changes, or circadian rhythms. Inappropriate artificial light exposure, however, can disrupt these rhythms, leading to increased disease and decreased performance. The correct light, at the right time, is the key to keeping our internal clocks in sync.
Light is essential for vision, but not all light impacts our vision equally. Poor-quality artificial light is increasingly linked to lack of focus, decreased task performance and eye fatigue. Variables such as spectrum, intensity, glare, spatial distribution and flicker factor into visual acuity and color perception, underscoring the importance of high-quality light in visual performance.
Research in neuroaesthetics shows that one’s perception of beauty correlates with improved learning, social behavior and emotional wellness. It may even play an evolutionary role, influencing us toward adaptive decision-making. So while beauty may seem hard to quantify—whether in art, design, nature or light—its impact is difficult to deny.
Light can be an effective germicide. Certain portions of the spectrum are known to have powerful anti-microbial effects. Violet light (405 nm) is proven to kill bacteria and fungi without harming humans, while ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) using UVC (200-280 nm) is a proven disinfectant, able to inactivate pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.