Originally Posted on Evansonline.com
A Real Life Example
Meet Sarah, a seasoned control room manager with decades of experience in the Utility Control industry. Every day, she oversees a team of dedicated professionals ensuring the seamless operation of critical processes. Sarah noticed a significant change in her team’s productivity and alertness after 9 PM -this is a time when our body starts to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone). This is one of the phases of our circadian rhythms, however in a situation when you have to stay alert you have to be able to adjust this schedule.
Understanding Circadian Light
At its core, Circadian light is designed to mimic the natural variations of the sun throughout the day. For control room managers like Sarah, this means much more than just illumination—it means aligning the lighting conditions with the body’s internal clock, optimizing focus, alertness, and overall well-being of the operators.
The Science of Circadian Light
In the mid-20th century, the term “circadian” was coined by Franz Halberg, merging the Latin words “circa” (around) and “diem” (day). In the following decades, researchers like Colin Pittendrigh and Jürgen Aschoff delved deeper into circadian rhythms, studying their presence not only in plants but also in animals and humans.
Circadian rhythms influence the timing of sleep onset and wakefulness. The body’s internal clock prompts drowsiness in the evening and alertness during the day. Disruptions to these rhythms, such as shift work or jet lag, can lead to sleep disorders and decreased cognitive function.
According to a recent study, natural daylight can entrain the circadian rhythm of workers in closed environments. The researchers used five-channel light-emitting diodes to create a dynamic daylight-like light environment that mimicked the changes in illuminance, color temperature, and circadian action factor of natural daylight throughout the day. They found that this light environment helped maintain stable circadian rhythm, cognitive performance, and mood status of three subjects who engaged in shift work for 38 consecutive days in a closed environment.
Enhanced Alertness and Focus
Improved Sleep Patterns
Proper exposure to Circadian Light during working hours has a profound impact on sleep quality. Consider Lisa, a control room manager, who used to struggle with irregular sleep patterns due to her shift work. After the installation of Circadian light, her body’s internal clock became regulated. The consistent exposure to appropriate lighting during work hours helped her achieve more restful sleep during her off hours.
Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency
Reduced Health Risk
Long-term exposure to improper lighting in control rooms can lead to various health issues such as eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Circadian light mitigates these risks by providing an optimal lighting environment. Consider Mike, a control room operator, who used to experience frequent headaches and eye discomfort after long hours of work. After the implementation of Circadian light, his symptoms significantly reduced.
Enhanced Employee Well-Being
Beyond its functional benefits, Circadian light contributes to the overall well-being of control room professionals. The sense of well-being is not just physical but also mental and emotional. Remember Sarah? After deploying a Circadian light solution she observed her team members thriving and enhanced performance along with boosts in morale.
The bottom line is i
Consider Circadian Light for Your Control Room Environment
Implementing Circadian light isn’t just a practical decision; it’s a statement of care for your employees. The positive impact of a well-lit control room resonates far beyond the working hours, fostering a culture of well-being and excellence.
In conclusion, as a manager in the Utilities industry, your decisions shape not only the efficiency of your processes but also the lives of the professionals under your guidance. Embracing Circadian light in your control room is a transformative step toward a healthier, and more productive future.