Circadian comes from the Latin ‘circa’ meaning’ ‘about’ and ‘dies’ meaning ‘day’. So, a circadian rhythm is a repeating pattern based on the natural progression of night and day. Our internal clocks are still regulated by the rise and fall of the sun. The sun comes up, we get on with our day and as it sets, we prepare for rest and then sleep.
Circadian rhythm lighting employs different colour temperatures together with different intensities of light to trigger different physiological effects in the correct sequence.
Blue/White, bright light – akin to a bright midday light – suppresses melatonin and increases serotonin; this light is great for activity.
Conversely Red/Orange soft light – akin to daylight at dusk – triggers melatonin in preparation for going to sleep. If everything is in balance the body will generate melatonin, serotonin, cortisol and dopamine in the right quantities at the right time of day.