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Studies confirmed that Czech Republic is a world class in bio-optimised lighting technology

04.11.2020

Scientists from the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings CTU in Prague in cooperation with experts from the Spectrasol company, developed a new type of lighting units, whose colour spectrum is very close to the natural solar radiation. The benefits of such lighting were confirmed by a long-term scientific study conducted with adolescents in Prague secondary school Na Pražačce. Positive effect on senior population were shown in study performed in the TGM Home for Seniors in Beroun, in cooperation with the National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany.

The studies confirmed a beneficial influence of pro-cognitive and biodynamic light on both students and seniors, particularly effects such improvement of mood, vigilance, working performance, ability to concentrate and learn new things and in the long-term horizon also improvement of sleep quality and total health.

The first project placed new pro-cognitive luminaires in the classrooms of the school Na Pražačce. The light of these unique light sources has well-balanced representation of all wavelengths in the optical spectrum between 450 and 650 nm, with emphasis especially on the biologically activating ranges of blue and azure spectral part.

Data collected during the two-year long study confirmed the acceleration of decision-making, the ability to concentrate, and the functioning of students' short-term memory during the winter months. “Wintertime is the period of the year when we lack natural light the most. Therefore, the pro-cognitive lighting, which is in its qualities very close to natural daylight, is the most effective tool to support the learning process. This hypothesis was confirmed by significantly better semester grades of students exposed to the experimental lighting”, says Dr. Lenka Maierová, head of the scientific team from the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings CTU in Prague.

In the following study, innovative biodynamic lighting system was installed at the TGM Home for Seniors in Beroun. The system controls the light according to the time of day. During the daytime, the light provides improved spatial distribution and increased intensity in comparison with standard lighting solutions. Its spectral composition mimics natural sunlight, which promotes circadian synchronization and higher cognitive performance. In the evening, the lighting gradually changes to warm, relaxing tones with a lower amount of alerting blue spectral component. For the necessary orientation at night, the system extended by luminaire with total absence of blue component and customized spatial distribution. It allows calm and undisturbed sleep of seniors, but assists safe walking around the room. 

Total of 19 clients of the TGM Home for Seniors in Beroun and 13 volunteers from the personnel participated in the research. For eleven clients in the tested group, biodynamic lighting was installed in their rooms. For eight clients in the control group, the exchange of lighting units was only simulated, and the lighting parameters remained unchanged. “Findings from by Addenbrooke’s cognitive test suggest that clients living in the rooms with biodynamic lighting improved after ten weeks in their cognitive performance and this improvement positively correlated with higher melatonin amplitude”, explaines another member of the interdisciplinary team participating it the research, doc Zdeňka Bendová from the National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany and Faculty of Science of the Charles University. The clients of the Home themselves judged the lighting similarly. According to their own words, they feel better under the new lighting. As summarized by Mgr. Ondřej Šimon, MPA, director of the TGM Home for Seniors in Beroun, “After the luminaire exchange, described seniors in the test group better sleep, mood and safety of movement during the night. This confirms the positive effect of biodynamic lighting on their wellbeing and life quality.”