Biophilic Lighting and Design: Benefits of Biophilia in Your Home or Office
Biophilic design is the practice of designing spaces with an awareness of how people are affected by their natural surroundings. Biophilic lighting and design incorporates natural elements into indoor spaces to produce a symbiotic relationship between man-made architecture and nature. This blog post will discuss what biophilic design is, why it's beneficial, how biophilic lighting can be helpful in schools and offices, and finally, how you can incorporate biophilic design into your home or work space!
What is Biophilic Lighting Design?
Biophilic lighting design is when nature and its elements are introduced into the physical space. Integrating natural light with good quality artificial light helps to enhance well-being in spaces that people occupy for long periods of time, such as offices or homes. It provides a comfortable environment while simultaneously improving mental health outcomes due to how our brains react to the light sources. There are 3 main categories of biophilic design. 1 - Nature in the Space, 2- Natural Analogues and 3- Nature of the Space.
Nature in the space is when nature is included into the design through landscaping or architectural elements such as ponds, rocks and vines. It is important to create a connection with the elements and focus on how it affects those who occupy the space. For example, by incorporating nature into an office or work environment people can be more productive as they will feel more relaxed and refreshed in their surroundings.
Natural analogues are objects that mimic natural forms found in nature by recreating a specific visual experience of real-world processions within an environment. This includes organic shapes, curved lines and repetitive patterns rather than angular surfaces, straight lines and random placement. Biophilic lighting helps achieve these goals by using light sources that replicate sunlight to help our brains sync up with the outside world around us so we feel more comfortable being indoors without feeling lethargic and tired.
Nature of the space refers to the spatial configurations in Nature, and this includes our innate desire to see beyond our immediate surroundings. Biophilic lighting can be used for both commercial and residential spaces. When designing a space with light it is important to look at the science behind biophilia such as how we interact with natural patterns, colors and scale of elements.
Benefits Of Biophilic Design
As biophilic lighting and design become more popular, we are learning more about the benefits of incorporating biophilia into design. Biophilic design can help create a more efficient and productive workplace environment. In a recent study from Human Spaces on the "Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace", reports that workers are 6% more productive when working in a biophilia friendly environment. Additionally, they report 15% increase in higher level of well being and are 15% more creative.
In addition to the workplace, studies have shown that students in classrooms with biophilic design stay on task longer and score higher test scores than those without. These benefits are especially realized in students with sensory issues or ADHD.
Biophilia in Schools and Classrooms
Biophilic design in classrooms can be very beneficial for students with autism, ADHD or sensory disorders. Nature can be very soothing to these students and help them focus better in the classroom. This is due to biophilia's ability to improve concentration and performance as well as reduce stress and anxiety levels; which results in improved behavior overall. Research indicates that cognitive performance and emotional well being can be greatly improved by incorporating nature into your classrooms design.
One way that biophilic design helps children with disabilities such as autism is by providing a calming atmosphere for those who struggle with sensory issues like overstimulation from bright lights, loud noises and strong smells/tastes (which are common triggers for kids on the spectrum). If we incorporate nature into our classrooms it allows children to feel more at peace and relaxed.
One simple way to make this change is by using fluorescent light covers by Octo Lights. Our light covers are made from a backlit film that can instantly transform the look and feel of your fluorescent or LED lighting. Nature designs like clouds, ocean, beach, stars and flowers are just a few examples. Our light covers soften the harsh light and simulate the feeling of being out in nature.
Simple Ways to Incorporate Nature Design
Contrary to what you may be thinking, you don't need a big budged to bring nature design into your home, office or classroom. Lets look a 5 simple and cost effective ways to start incorporating biophilic lighting and design into your interior spaces.
- Nature Design Lighting - embrace natural light by using the right curtains and blinds. Make sure that natural light is not obstructed. Also trim shrubbery or trees outside windows that are blocking light. If artificial lighting is used as well, try using softer lighting instead of harsh bright lights. Fluorescent light covers are a great way to soften that harsh light and bring nature style images into your office or classroom.
- Go Green - Try to embrace natures color (Green) in your design. Start by adding green plants to your space. Hanging vines are a great way to mimic nature and bring the outdoors in. If you do not have enough room for an indoor garden, then try putting some green into your design by using plantable paper or upcycled materials that will grow herbs when watered.
- Flowing Water - Adding a waterfall or fountain can be a great way to bring Nature into your space. Nature is full of flowing water so bringing the sound of water inside helps calm us and brings a sense of peace. Our brains are stimulated by these Nature sounds and helps with focus, concentration and creativity. There are plenty of reasonably priced fountains to choose from in various sizes or you can make your own!
- Add Texture to Walls - One of the basics from Nature that we can add to our homes is texture. Nature has a lot of different textures in it so try adding some wood, metal and pebbles into your design. Make sure to address any long flat or straight edges. Nature has no straight lines so we need to break those up by adding depth and texture. Consider using pallets on your walls , wooden pegs or even just adding a piece of art. These natural wood tones not only break up the monotony, but the woodgrain is appealing to our senses as well.
- Get Curvy - In biophilic design, the shapes you use are even more important than the materials and fabrics. Incorporating curves into your room is as easy as swapping your rectangular coffee table for an oval one, or adding a couple of cozy chairs with rounded backs. These curves are more representative of the curves and non-linear shapes we find in nature.
Biophilic design is the practice of designing spaces with an awareness of how people are affected by their natural surroundings. Biophilic lighting and design incorporates natural elements into indoor spaces to produce a symbiotic relationship between man-made architecture and nature. We hope you have learned what biophilic design is, why it's beneficial, how biophilic lighting can be helpful in schools and offices, and finally, how you can incorporate biophilic design into your home or work space! Shop our full collection of fluorescent light covers to bring that biophilic touch to your space.