by the VELUX Group
2015 has been proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies by the United Nations. International Year of Light is a global initiative highlighting the importance of light to our lives, our future and the development of society. The VELUX Group has joined the important initiative as associate partner in a consortium of scientific bodies and companies together with UNESCO.
On 19 January 2015, International Year of Light opened at a ceremony in Paris at the UNESCO Headquarter gathering 1,500 people, among them eminent scientists, industrialists, senior officials, decision-makers and promising young researchers. The VELUX Group is also there to share more than 70 years of experience and knowledge in terms of bringing daylight into buildings and to broaden the awareness of daylight’s impact on people’s health and well-being. Daylight is essential to us. It has a wide range of influences on humans that go far beyond our need for vision. Many aspects of human physiology and behaviour are dominated by the 24-hour rhythm that have a major impact on our health and well-being. We spend over 90% of our time indoors, which makes the importance of a sharper focus on daylight and sufficient daylight levels indoors, even more pertinent.
Light and darkness are essential to our lives. The dynamic variation of light, daily and seasonally, is a critical factor in determining and maintaining our 24-hour daily rhythm – our circadian rhythm – which, in-turn, play a key role in the regulation of our sleep/wake cycle.
“An appropriate light signal during the day and darkness at night are critical in maintaining key aspects of our overall health. To align our body clock, morning light is the most important signal for entrainment. Light in the morning also increases our level of alertness, allowing increased performance at the beginning of the day. Whereas reduced light levels in the evening promote sleep at night. There are other external time markers, but daylight’s characteristic light contra dark variation, continuity and spectral composition are excellent synchronisers of our circadian rhythm,” explains Per Arnold Andersen, Head of the Knowledge Centre for Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate in the VELUX Group.
As long as the VELUX Group has existed, the company has had persistent focus on daylighting. Through its many initiatives, tools and activities, the VELUX Group has established wide international collaboration in daylight research, daylight practice and daylight education, such as the Daylight Academic Forum for PhD Students, the Daylight & Architecture Magazine, the International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture, the Daylight Site and VELUX Daylight Visualizer.
“A global initiative such as the International Year of Light is a unique opportunity to inspire, discuss, educate and connect on a global scale. It supports our strong commitment to creating better and more sustainable living environments, something we are doing continually through our daylight activities and tools. In September, we will for instance be hosting our 6th Daylight Symposium,” explains Per Arnold Andersen.