The Health Impacts of Artificial Light

On the Winter Solstice, Our Reliance on Artificial Light is Most Pronounced

Winter Solstice

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On December 21, 2018, the Northern Hemisphere will experience the Winter Solstice. On that day, also known as Midwinter, the North Pole will be farthest tilted away from the sun, giving the Northern Hemisphere its shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. The “shortest day of the year,” Winter Solstice has been a significant date for cultures around the world since before the beginning of recorded history. Many modern religious winter holidays may have their beginnings in ancient celebrations of the solstice.

These days, for most of us, the Winter Solstice has lost its religious or ritualistic meaning. Instead, the Solstice marks a day when we’re likely to wake up before the sun has risen and go to bed long after it has set; the one day of the year when we’re likely exposed to the least amount of natural light.

Dangers of Artificial Light

Artificial Light

Image Courtesy of Pexels: Mohamed Khaled 

This can be a problem, as not only is exposure to natural light crucial to human physical and mental health, but a lack of natural light combined with over-exposure to artificial light sources—particularly at night—can cause numerous detrimental effects, including disruption to our circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock), difficulty falling asleep and poorer sleep quality, obesity, muscle loss, depression, reduced cognitive function and even cancer, according to Psychology Today.

The health dangers of artificial light are well documented. In fact, doctors now recommend avoiding bright lights that produce a large amount of blue light—common from computer and phone screens, but also from now ubiquitous energy-efficient lightbulbs—for two to three hours before bed so as not to decrease melatonin productiona naturally produced hormone that regulates the wake/sleep cycleand impact sleep quality.

The Health Benefits of Candlelight

Natural candlelight

In an ideal world, for optimal health our wake and sleep cycles would be tied to the rising and setting of the sun. We all know that’s not going to happen, but what alternatives are there to exposure to artificial light?

Firelight—from campfires, fireplaces, candles, etc.—is natural, and it consequently produces very little blue light. This means firelight doesn’t produce the same negative effects of artificial light, causing less impact on your circadian rhythm and your sleep habits, making it better for your mental and physical health. That’s why replacing blue-light sources—like many lightbulbs and electronic screens—with candlelight or firelight is a great way to reduce the negative impact artificial light has on our wellbeing.

Transitioning away from artificial light sources can be tricky, particularly given the ubiquity of lightbulbs and screens in our modern lives. The inconvenience of not being able to simply flip a switch to produce light likely discourages many people from lighting a fire or candle when darkness falls.

The remote-control LuDela Perfect Pillar candle solves that problem, combining real-flame, natural firelight with modern technology and convenience, allowing you to ignite and extinguish the candle with the touch of a button. It’s a convenient source of natural light for anyone looking to limit their exposure to harmful artificial light devices at this darkest time of the year.

Learn more about the LuDela Perfect Pillar Candle here.

From all of us at LuDela, Happy Holidays and Happy Solstice!