adjective: (of biological processes) recurring naturally on a twenty-four-hour-cycle

Dr. Perez’ In-Depth Circadian Rhythm Design Presentation (Human Centric Lighting):

Watch this video above to learn about the circadian lighting design research and findings of Dr. Octavio Perez and his team! Dr. Perez has taken circadian rhythm lighting design to the next level through lots of research and experimentation. He works at the Adjunct Research Department of Population Health Science and Policy at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and has been testing how different light variables. When describing some of his experiments, Dr. Perez says “we have different channels and what we do is compose light as if you were composing music with a piano.”

Importance of Circadian Rhythm Lighting Design and Human Centric Lighting

Two of the biggest building factors affecting an occupant’s health in a building are 1) the air quality in the building and 2) the light quality in the building. The second one might be surprising for a lot of people because it is not something we think about often. The main reason lighting plays a big role in a person’s health, productivity, and well-being is because our bodies have evolved to operate on a 24-hour “circadian” cycle. The biggest factor of how light affects humans is the light color (also known as light temperature) which tells our human brains and bodies what time of day it is. For example, in the morning the sun is shining bright blue light which our brains receive and communicate to our bodies (through the release of chemicals in our brain) be alert and awake. Later in the day, the color of the sun’s light changes to yellow and then red in the evening. The yellow and red light colors tell our brain (via chemical release of melatonin) that it is getting later in the day and time to wind down and get ready to sleep.

Circadian Rhythm lighting design and the light colors being used in a building can either mimic the sun’s color throughout the day and help us sleep well at night, or it can incorrectly mislead our brains to think it is a different time of the day. Often times, this makes it harder for us to sleep at night and negatively affects our health and productivity.


Future of Circadian Lighting Design in our Buildings

We will start seeing more great circadian rhythm lighting designs in our WELL certified buildings because this healthy building rating system has a whole concept of features prescribing human centric lighting aka circadian lighting design. WELL is the leading health and wellness third-party verified building rating system and provides standards around light color, brightness, glare, and much much more!

If you are interested in circadian lighting design, we recommend that you learn more about the WELL Building Standard and consider earning the WELL AP accreditation. The main reason this building certification and accreditation is so important to incorporating a good circadian lighting design is because it provides architects, contractors, owners, and managers an excuse to incorporate this technology. If you think about it, most new technologies and strategies are met with apprehension due to the fact that “it will cost more”. Well (no pun intended), the reality is that WELL Building Standard has done the research to prove spending the money on incorporating a good circadian lighting design is worth it. People spend 90% of their time indoors, and companies spend 90% of their capital on their employees; so, the ROI (return on investment) for a good circadian lighting design and human centric lighting design is there. Building occupants will be healthier and more productive. You can overcome any apprehension that might be received by showcasing your expertise as a WELL AP or during a WELL building certification.

Light is one of the WELL Building Standard’s 7 Core Concepts:

circadian rhythm lighting design image of well building standard light category feature








If you are interested, please check out our best-selling WELL AP study tools to help you pass the WELL AP exam on your first try. It is an inexpensive professional credential to earn, and it is extremely valuable (especially if you want to be a leader in the green building movement and advocate for sustainability and healthier buildings).

Already a WELL AP?

Check out our brand new video course that counts towards your required continuing education hours: