Ambient Lighting may seem as easy as it sounds. It turns out it’s not.
Back in 2008, George Brainard, Ph.D and his research team found out we have photosensitive ganglion cells, which controls our hormone balance. It means that if we have a lot of blue light outside that’s coming down to the bottom of our retina, we get a high cortisol level in our bloodstream. While it releases hormones, it also suppresses melatonin - this balance is what makes us alert, motivated, happy versus what makes us fall asleep.
Now, it’s not a problem while you’re outside but the moment you go inside a building structure, you don’t have a picture of the bright, blue sky anymore but what you see on a vertical plane instead is a picture of a corner of a wall between the ceiling and the wall. Now, you don’t have that normal, high brightness light you need to function at your most optimal level.
To properly explain the information above, we have to take into consideration how our neural pathways go from our vision to our brains. The first knowledge we have and kept for 150 years is that it goes from our retina to our visual cortex in the back of our heads. It’s where images are created and a formal pathway we’ve known for many years.
But in 2008, there’s an extra pathway, a newer pathway that goes from the bottom of the retina up to our hypophysis - also known as the Pituitary gland. It’s the same gland that regulates our Circadian rhythm. It tells us whether it’s day or night.
From the Hypophysis, it moves down to our spinal cord producing cortisol - our wake up and happy hormone. And that sort of gives us a boost.
From there, it moves up to the Pineal gland which is in charge of secreting melatonin balance.
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