Page 61 - Australian Defence Magazine November 2019
P. 61

Lighting design for Defence – there’s more than meets the eye
THE human response to light is a lot more complex than many may realise. For exam- ple, light exposure induces several effects on our physiology, such as helping to reset our biological clocks (body clocks) and improv- ing mood. Furthermore, the alerting effects of light can help to promote a healthy, safe and productive workplace, particularly for those who operate around the clock and un- der darkened conditions.
Working with leading Australian re- searchers from the CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (an industry-driven research consortium dedicated to the pre- vention and control of sleep loss and sleep disorders), and backed by its 40-year history in the lighting space, Versalux Lighting Sys- tems is looking to develop products and, importantly, guidelines that consider this human response to lighting – in particular, alertness levels and the impact of light.
The concept is already being adopted by Versalux Marine, who currently supply and support the lighting systems of more than seventy per cent of the Royal Austra- lian Navy fleet, including Anzacs, LHDs, AWDs, OPVs, AORs and other platforms.
“Military personnel, including Marines,
may be at increased risk to sleep depriva- tion due to abnormal sleep and light expo- sure patterns, particularly those who work within submarines or inside the ships,” Jorg Koch-Losekamm, General Manager Maritime & Defence at Versalux Marine explained to ADM. “Out in the middle of the ocean it can be pitch black. In a sub- marine, there are no windows; no natural light. Working in collaboration with our partners, our intelligent human-focussed lighting solutions will not only offer those on board the vessels a productive (and com- pliant) working environment; they will also consider worker health and wellbeing, en- abling Navy personnel to return home safe- ly each day to their families and friends.”
The systems work by considering the ef- fects of blue enriched and blue depleted light on human alertness in their design. They are then built around the scientific specifications that will aid with resetting circadian rhythms which, in turn, will aid with sleep.
Sleep and alertness are currently mas- sive public health, safety and productivity issues. In Australia alone, the total cost of inadequate sleep was estimated to be $66.3
billion in 2016-17, which incorporated pro- ductivity losses of $17.9 billion, and which resulted in 3,017 deaths, many of which could have been prevented.
The world is seeing many different at- tempts to improve these figures. Tools and services are being developed to improve our sleep, and work schedules are being evaluat- ed to ensure maximum safety and produc- tivity, particularly for shift workers who are at greater risk of reduced alertness.
Across all of these innovations, lighting is playing a key role. It is therefore hoped that in an effort to reduce these extortion- ate costs of inadequate sleep, these science- driven lighting guidelines will, one day, form part of the rules and regulations – a Standard – around which the industry is governed, particularly for critical working environments such as those within Defence.
“When it comes to the health, safety and wellbeing of those on board, there is no com- promise,” Koch-Losekamm added. “From design through to customisation, supply, in- tegration and servicing, our intelligent solu- tions will remain considerate of the human- focussed aspects of lighting. To us, this is and will continue to be critical to success.”
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