Human Centric Lighting

Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is an illumination specially designed to have a positive physiological and/or psychological effect on humans. It consists of adjusting the colour and intensity of the light throughout the day using adjustable white LED lighting solutions.

HCL supports human health, well-being and performance by considering and properly planning the implementation of a lighting system according to the desired visual, emotional and above all biological effects of light. Human Centric Lighting focuses on the needs of people for their living, leisure and working environment. The study is based on the properties and effects of natural light, a dynamic source of changing tone and brightness that changes throughout the day and seasons. 

A combination of white LED light sources, usually warm white (2700K) and cold white (6500K), is used to provide adequate human-centred lighting. This solution is also called Tunable White lighting. By adjusting the intensity of each individual, bright or dull white light with a hue between 2700K and 6500K can be achieved. It is a new way of using and implementing artificial light, corresponding to the changes of natural light and research on the effects on humans.

1. More light, more productivity

Increased lighting intensity allows people to work more concentrated, less tired, make fewer mistakes and more accurately identify mistakes. And what makes life more pleasant for the individual is more lucrative for the company as a whole.

2. More concentration and creativity

Human Centric Lighting coordinates the interplay of light, atmosphere and space to ensure the well-being of people in their surroundings. It is particularly important for modern office environments because it focuses on people.

For Human Centric Lighting to be a good emulation of daylight and an effective lighting solution, the following aspects are important:

3. Daylight spectrum

Human Centric light sources must have a daylight-like spectrum. It might seem as simple as saying that "a car must have wheels", but there are many light sources on the market that do not. For example, a fluorescent lamp has a spectrum with many peaks and depths that differs greatly from sunlight.


Standard LED have a smooth enough spectrum for most Human Centric projects but for the best results a full spectrum LED such as Seoul SunLike (pictured above) or Nichia Optisolis is recommended. 

Spectrum of Nichia Optisolis LED 

4. Color Rendering Index (CRI)

High color rendering index is required for Human Centric Lighting, with CRI90+ being optimum and 80+ acceptable. With CRI below 80 colors will not look at all as they do under natural light so it is out of the question to use such light sources. 

5. Brightness

Human Centric Lighting should provide enough light for the task at hand. This is a challenge, as warm white and cold white LEDs must be combined, all working with adjustable brightness. This gives you twice the number of light sources compared to the static version.

There are two main methods for obtaining dynamic white light from interpolated or parallel light sources.

Interpolated light sources mean that warm white and cold white LEDs are placed in pairs, parallel or in groups, on the same strip or module. This module is the heart of a luminaire.

Above: examples of Interpolated LED strip and module

By using interpolated LEDs on a module, a lower system cost will result. Issues are insufficient brightness, lower reliability due to higher operating temperatures and problematic thermal management.

Using separate LED modules or strips for each of the two white color temperatures will yield higher brightness, improved reliability but will increase the cost. However, such a combination is impractical in fixtures that have limited space, such as linear or slim luminaries and practical for cove lighting and luminous ceilings.

6. Ease of use 

A Human Centric Lighting solution should be easy to use.

Different programs and manual programming must be available, for evening and night hours or even for the whole day. For private use there should be a very simple app and also a fully programmed mode.

The transformers and control systems must communicate with each other in a widely used standard from the Internet of Things (IOT) universe. Zigbee, KNX, 0-10V, are relevant examples. The reasons are obvious, from an increased number of control software solutions to a long-term guarantee that the lighting system can be upgraded or maintained.

At Ledrise you will find high performance LED strips and modules for Human Centric Lighting.

For Human Centric Lighting via interpolated LED modules you can choose our Tunable White strips and modules with Nichia LEDs for the best price/performance ratio. We even have a large square module for stretch ceilings or large surface luminaires.

Tunable White Modules and Strips

If you prefer using parallel LED strips or modules for each color temperature we recommend our range of Sunlike products, with many variants to pick from.

SunLike LED Modules CRI97+