The global pandemic made us increasingly aware of wellness and quality of life issues. In the greater pursuit of connected ‘wellness’, we have come to understand more about our need for human and environmental connection with the diversity of life around us. We at DJCoalition understand that light holds the power to facilitate wellness in a broader sense. Of the 7 dimensions of wellness, we use light to directly facilitate: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and environmental wellness.
Did you know that light enables our natural biological rhythms as well as enabling visual tasks. Our internal body clocks are regulated by the natural progression of daylight and night. Cooler white, bright light– matching daylight during the day – stimulates our body, increasing alertness and energy. Warmer white, softer light – matching light at dusk – encourages the production of melatonin that relaxes us and prepares us for rest at night.
At Allen and Overy’s new offices we designed and commissioned a dynamic lighting system that changes through the day.
Subtle, imperceptible changes in light colour and intensity are programmed to match the natural characteristics of daylight and the transition to evening. By day the light stimulates the brains alertness and, in the evening, prepares the body for returning home to rest.
We have all had weeks, or even months of constant pressure which have sapped our emotional energy – right? Light therapy, as part of spa treatments, can enhance recharging of our mind as well as our body.
In the W Bangkok, DJCoalition designed spa treatment rooms with the ability to surround the patient in light baths of different colours. The wavelengths of these colours were tuned to coincide with different treatments. Pink light soothes away agitation and induces calmness. Blue light recharges us, increases alertness.
Have you heard the phrase ‘learn from the past’? History can reveal many truths to the curious mind. Light, as the medium by which we see, reveals a view of our built heritage and public art which stimulates our minds.
At DJCoalition we illuminate our built heritage to reveal historical pattern and we work with artists to illuminate public art. With light we connect us all to our man-made environment. Connection promotes community ownership which in turn builds a sense of belonging and care of our cities.
Light sets the scene for human interaction after sunset. Warm golden light, rich in yellow and red wavelengths, promotes the feeling of ‘being at home’. It’s a light we associate with fire, which until recently was our source of light by night. Physiologically, golden light relaxes us and prepares us for rest.
In our work, DJCoalition uses golden light to create warm, friendly atmospheres, perfect for promoting conversations and building connections amongst groups of people. In chromotherapy, it is a colour associated with our stomach, so it is a perfect colour for friends getting together over a meal.
Spiritual wellness can be expressed as a harmony between what lies within and the forces outside. This balance is found more easily in places of calmness. Spaces where the eye can wander and the mind can drift. At the White Chapel, DJCoalition concealed the lighting so the fabric of the space became the light source. Immersed in a soft, all encompassing bath of light, the visitor’s mind is free to dwell on inner thoughts without overt external stimulation.
How do you determine the appropriate lighting level for night-time outdoor living? We all enjoy living as part of a connected system of biodiversity but the enjoyment comes with a responsibility of care. There are times when light is required and times when darkness is required. The role of the lighting designer is to balance the needs of both. At DJCoalition we actively promote a sustainable approach to lighting, not driven solely by regulatory standards but driven by a desire to live in biological balance.
Sustainable lighting design starts with defining the correct light levels for tasks, not over-lighting and not masking the night-time view out to nature or up to the stars.