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Bringing the benefits of natural light indoors

Welcome to the launch of our new Better Places for People leadership series. Throughout the year, we will profile organisations leading the transition towards a healthier and more equitable built environment. 

In our first article, Signify, a global leader in lighting and member of the WorldGBC Corporate Advisory Board, talks to us about NatureConnect and how it aligns to the Health & Wellbeing Framework.

By Inge van de Wouw, Segment & Marketing Manager, NatureConnect by Signify

Daylight is something so natural, that often we do not realise how important it is to us. Increasing amounts of research reiterate that the exposure to the right amounts of light during the day, as well as the colours and dynamics from nature, strongly impact our mood, energy levels, comfort, quality of sleep and our health and wellbeing in general.

“We feel better and are more productive when we have access to natural light,” explains Inge. “It has a powerful impact on both body and mind. When we are deprived of food, air or water, the effect on us is immediate. Yet with light, despite being just as crucial to our health, the impact is less direct, meaning we may not always prioritise it as we should. But actually light is as fundamental to life as food, water and air.”

On average, we spend more than 90% of our time indoors, where we do not get the right amount and quality of light to feel happy and healthy.

“Did you ever hear anybody say “I’m feeling at my best in a meeting room”?” says Inge. “Probably not. Most of us enjoy being outside in nature. Besides it being a pleasurable sensory experience, immersing ourselves in the subtle colors, sounds, textures and movements of nature helps us relax and clear our mind. It has a restorative effect on our health and wellbeing.”

Recent research (Ref 1*) shows that nature has a huge, positive impact on our physiological, mental and emotional wellbeing. Workers in offices with natural elements such as plants and sunlight report:

+15% higher level of wellbeing

+ 6% higher level of productivity

+15% higher level of creativity

Natural light and darkness give our body clocks essential time cues to stay in sync with the outside world. Robust and synchronised circadian rhythms are at the core of good health, quality sleep and wellbeing. Yet today’s way of living and working makes us spend most of our time indoors, which estranges us from daylight.

That’s why Signify is rethinking this crucial relationship between light and wellbeing within the professional indoor space, bringing nature back into our lives

Aligning with WorldGBC’s Health & Wellbeing Principal 2: Prioritise Comfort and Principal 3: Harmony with Nature, Signify have launched a new lighting solution called NatureConnect. It brings the benefits of natural light indoors.

NatureConnect builds on proven Biophilic Design principles that reconnect us to the outside world. It mimics the natural patterns of daylight indoors, to create comfortable, engaging and attractive environments.

The diverse LED luminaires in the system – Daylight, Skylight and Lightscape – collectively create immersive natural experiences that are tailored to the user’s needs. Using principles and algorithms from nature, underpinned by science, NatureConnect aims to provide the following benefits:

  • Enhance wellbeing: Supports the body’s natural day-night rhythm to stay active during the day and rest well at night.
  • Boost performance: Makes people feel more energetic and stimulates interaction and collaboration.
  • Create an inspiring environment: Enhances the company identity by creating a vibrant, joyful and immersive atmosphere.

In recent years, we have seen a growing awareness of nature’s profound effect on human health and wellbeing. It is not a simple nice-to-have, but a basic human need. Companies that already live by the principles of employee wellbeing, make a difference, not only to their people, but to their business.

Of course, none of these solutions should come at the cost of the environment. Signify recognises the importance of energy efficiency to reduce the climate impacts of their products, which is why they were carbon neutral in their operations in 2020 and use 100% renewable electricity.

Signify and the WorldGBC are united in their mission to demonstrate the major role our built environment has on health and quality of life, and we are pleased to showcase market ready solutions that both inspire innovations and can create healthier lifestyles for people worldwide.

*Ref 1: Chief Wellbeing Officer by Steven MacGregor, 2018


About Signify

Signify is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our energy efficient lighting products, systems and services enable our customers to enjoy a superior quality of light, and make people’s lives safer and more comfortable, businesses more productive and cities more livable.

With 2020 sales of EUR 6.5 billion, approximately 38,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries, they are unlocking the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world.

Signify have produced videos to show how NatureConnect lighting follows the rhythm of the sun, providing the right light at the right time of the day, which you can view here.


About the WorldGBC Health and Wellbeing Framework

WorldGBC’s Health & Wellbeing Framework catalyses social impact across the entire built environment value chain.

Grounded in the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the WorldGBC’s Health & Wellbeing Framework drives healthy and equitable buildings in harmony with nature.

After a multi-year global consultation, our Heath & Wellbeing Framework offers a comprehensive educational tool for a healthy and equitable built environment.

Convening expertise across the built environment, health and human rights, the Framework is published as an executive report and live digital tool. An innovation of this work is a cross-sectoral analysis across the entire building and construction lifestyle — redefining the scope of health for all people and their buildings, cities and communities.

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing the link between the built environment and human health into focus, the Framework’s six principles span indoor air quality, human rights in the supply chain, climate change resilience and more.



Tessa Eydmann-Peel, PR and Communications Coordinator, World Green Building Council  +44 (0) 7932491571