Circadian Lighting and Adaptive Lighting

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February 26, 2021 | 4 Min Read

Nanoleaf’s Essentials Bulbs and Lightstrips allow total customization of your smart lighting experience. And now, with the new Circadian Lighting and Adaptive Lighting features, you can also enjoy smart lighting automation that improves your day-to-day life by boosting productivity, maximizing comfort, and even promoting a healthy sleep cycle.

Nanoleaf Essentials Bulb on a desk.

What is a Circadian Rhythm

Natural light served humanity well for thousands of years but as we continue to advance, man-made lighting has become the ideal solution for our modern lifestyles. We do however still have an undeniable connection to nature encoded deep in our biology. This is called our Circadian Rhythm – an internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle based on solar time. Simply put, when the sun goes up, up we go as well.

But it is a bit more nuanced than that. Outside of brightness, the sun’s color temperature also shifts throughout a 24-hour span going from a warm sunrise to cool mid-day, and then back to warm again as the sunsets. The effects of this on our body help regulate when we feel the most awake, and when we get signals that it’s time to go to sleep. 

Birds flying through the ocean.

The classic lightbulb does…none of this. It’s either on, or off. You can choose between purchasing warm or cool bulbs, but being permanently fixed to one temperature of lighting can cause dissonance or discomfort at the points of the day when our body is yearning for the other.

Benefits of Circadian Lighting & Adaptive Lighting

Nanoleaf’s Circadian Lighting feature, as well as Apple HomeKit Adaptive Lighting allow your Essentials Bulbs and Lightstrips to automatically adjust their color temperature throughout the day based on your timezone. This mimics the lighting effects of the sun to give your body the natural signals that you wouldn’t get with a standard light. As a result, you can experience increased energy and productivity throughout the day, improved comfort in the evening, and even a better more restful sleep at night. 

Nanoleaf Essentials new feature of Adaptive Lighting.

Difference between Circadian Lighting & Adaptive Lighting

There is overlap between the two features, but also elements that set them apart.

Circadian Lighting vs. Adaptive Lighting infographic.

Adaptive Lighting is completely automated, allowing for a simple “on/off” activation. Circadian Lighting has both an auto and manual mode, giving you the option to customize your own sunrise and sunset hours. Whether you work a night shift, need help fighting off jet lag, or simply prefer to operate on a different schedule, you can still enjoy the benefits of Circadian Lighting with this manual option.

While neither feature controls brightness, Adaptive Lighting has a “dim to warm” feature that turns the color temperature of your lights warmer as you manually decrease the brightness, as you’d find with the rising or setting sun. 

Apple HomeKit App with Adaptive Lighting.

And finally (and perhaps the most important for non-iPhone users) Circadian Lighting gives iOS and Android users access to this great feature, whereas Adaptive Lighting is exclusive to the Apple ecosystem and requires a Home Hub. This allows you to control it directly from the Apple Home App, in one central location with all of your other HomeKit products.

With Nanoleaf’s Circadian Lighting and Apple’s Adaptive Lighting, your Essentials products become even more of a smart home staple, and another step towards smarter living.

What’s your favorite Nanoleaf smart light feature? Share your experience with us!

Find us on Instagram and Twitter @nanoleaf or Facebook @thenanoleaf  and learn more about Nanoleaf’s Smarter Kits and Nanoleaf Essentials.

READ NEXT: What is Circadian Lighting and its Benefits?

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