Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 6: Put a Light on It

The buzzing fluorescent lighting that follows us from preschool through college is familiar but mostly a distraction. That is, unless your brain is the type that adjusts easily and readily to anything in your environment.

For the majority of us, however, the closer we are to natural light, the better we can concentrate and create. This goes back to science aiding in our understanding of the writing process.

This subject also relates to the colors we seek, which was Day 5's observation:

Cool white fluorescent lights are concentrated in the yellow to red end of the visible light
spectrum. Incandescent lamps, similarly, are concentrated in the orange to red end of the
spectrum. In comparison, energy-efficient fluorescent lighting is typically concentrated in the yellow to green portion of the spectrum. These three light sources lack the blue portion of the color spectrum (Liberman 1991), which is the most important part for humans and is best provided by natural light. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting is the electrical light source that has a spectrum of light most similar to natural light because it provides light in the blue portion of the spectrum. (A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants by L. Edwards and P. Torcellini.)
So blue, within the color spectrum, is essential to mental health in humans. That means we stay calmer and more focused when our bodies are soaked in daylight, rather than lighting that lacks this essential element. Better still, write near a window. According to the literature review, "many countries in Europe require that workers be within 27 feet (8.2296 meters) of a window."

Failing that, walk outside for at least 10 minutes during the day and use a full-spectrum light source. Step by step this blog is addressing how we short-circuit our ability to write.

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