6 Human Needs Served by Lighting

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Today we’re going way back to the basics. It’s been proven that the discovery of fire has changed the course of human history, and the discovery of electricity further altered our paths. Since the discovery of electricity and the invention of the light bulb, humans have drastically changed how they live. Here are 6 basic human needs that are served by lighting.

1. Health, Safety & Well-Being

Criminals love the dark. It’s far easier to lurk around in the shadows than it is to sneak around in broad daylight. Lighting has helped us reduce and deter criminal activity.

Odds are, you feel far safer walking down a well lit path or parking under the lamp post in a parking lot rather than wandering down a dark street or parking in the dark corners of a parking lot.

Lighting can also provide visibility to potential hazards. Street lights help provide visibility to roads and sidewalks, the headlights in your car help you see where you’re going, and landscape lighting at your home can help illuminate your pathways and steps. Landscape lighting can also be used to turn your home into a beautiful space for you and a hostile environment for criminals.

Lighting can also help improve your health. Studies have shown that certain therapeutic lighting can help decrease the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, jet lag, and certain sleeping disorders.

Furthermore, lighting has drastically improved modern medicine. Surgeons no longer need to rely on candles, lanterns, and sunlight to perform an operation. Now, there are high powered, focused lighting solutions that doctors and surgeons can utilize when examining and operating on a patient. Overall, lighting is essential to our health and well-being.

2. Productivity

Before electricity, human productivity was mostly limited by daylight hours. Once the sun went down, humans relied on fire to stay productive. However, fire can only go so far. If you’ve ever tried to illuminate your home with candles during a power outage then you understand how little light is actually produced.

Candles and lanterns don’t help too much when you still need to do your work outdoors. Fire is also limiting. It’s difficult to get the right amount of light in dark corners or for searching for lost items under a bed, but with the invention of flashlights it’s no longer an issue.

Lamps and overhead lights have helped us safely increase our productivity. There’s no longer a need to rely on an open flame to light up our homes and workplaces. Instead, we’ve learned how to harness electricity and produce light bright enough to simulate the daytime. With modern lighting we’re capable of working around the clock, making 24-hr operations possible.

3. Visual

Our progress in lighting technology has completely changed the way the world looks. Some of our visuals have increased dramatically and some have decreased by the same amount.

For example, you cannot see nearly as many stars in cities as you can in more rural areas. Why? The city lights! City lighting makes seeing the light from stars nearly impossible. However, cities are typically a lot safer than rural areas.

Also, because cities have such good lighting, people are more inclined to get some of their shopping done at night time rather than not doing it at all due to lack of sunlight.

4. Aesthetics

Lighting can be used in an infinite number of ways to create beautiful aesthetics. More and more buildings are using open concepts to mix both natural and artificial lighting.

Buildings and homes also use landscape lighting to create a stunning aesthetic. Why are city skylines such as Dallas and New York so iconic and beautiful? Because of lighting.

Using different colors and different kinds of lights, buildings can help create a beautiful look. At the base of the buildings you can see different landscape lighting that help highlight different features of the building.

Parks and gardens also use lighting to help create a beautiful nighttime aesthetic with all of the flowers, bushes, and trees. At home, landscape lighting can also help you create your own aesthetic. Downlights and spotlights provide numerous uses to help you create the perfect look.

5. Social Communication

Humans are the most social beings on the earth. We love to gather and enjoy eachother’s company, and modern lighting has made it much easier to do so.

With lighting we can continue to socialize outdoors long after the sun sets. We’re capable of playing sports, hosting concerts, performing plays, the list is endless.

Although it’s possible to interact in the dark or with nothing but firelight, modern lighting makes social gatherings far easier. It allows us to expand our recreational activities as well as our professional activities. In our homes, landscape lighting allows us to host parties or enjoy time with family and friends without being stuck in the dark.

6. Mood & Atmosphere

When you’re trying to create a romantic atmosphere you consider about three basic things: music, scented candles, and lighting. There’s a reason it’s known as “mood lighting.” Lighting is perfect for setting any kind of mood.

Low, dim lights can create a softer, romantic atmosphere, while big, bright lights can create a more upbeat, productive mood. Different colors and types of lighting can help create almost any kind of atmosphere.

Movies, theaters, and television sets rely on lighting to set the tone of the scene. Lighting is often used to set the tone of the entire production.

Many fans of Star Wars pointed out the specific use of lighting in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens when certain characters were feeling drawn to either the light side of the force (characterized by blue) or the dark side of the force (characterized by red). This is just one example of how lighting can make the difference in atmosphere.

Museums utilize lighting to create the perfect atmosphere for each exhibit. Hotels use their lighting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. At home, you can use landscape lighting to create your own atmosphere. Deck lights can provide enough light to give you full functionality of your outdoor space while still creating a romantic ambiance.

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