Lighting that mimics the rhythm of our lives. Fresh water, abundant and pure. Clean air. All are vital keys to living well. As such, they are the three pillars of Wellness Technology, and why incorporating wellness tech into home design is the single most effective way to improve quality of life.
Having been on the forefront of wellness tech since 2017, we know that no one will argue against these facts, but we also know, sometimes it can be cumbersome to broach this subject when planning projects with designers, architects and builders. Thankfully, in our time spent in wellness tech, we’ve found some strategies that work well when talking with designers specifically.
Begin By Emphasizing That Wellness Tech is Everywhere
It all starts with leaning back and being a good listener to the vision of the designer and what they want to deliver to their client. Once you have that viewpoint, you can work wellness in as a natural fit. Right now is the perfect time for augmented spaces, as, having navigated through a pandemic, people are hyper-sensitive to ways they can boost comfort, health and wellness. I have found that many designers already understand a good deal more about the importance and benefits of wellness technology than they realize.
When it is time to talk technology, I often begin by asking if they use the “night shift” feature on their iPhone, a feature that adjusts color temperature and brightness depending on the time of day. For those that do (and most do), the question makes them realize that they’re already using a form of wellness tech every single day. For instance, iPhone users can schedule a time for “night shift” to automatically adjust color temperature and brightness based on their body schedule with warm interface tones for winding down from the day. This then sets up the conversation for setting up a total sleep sanctuary for clients, that works perfectly with any bedroom interior design.
Another point that resonates is mentioning that Americans spend nearly 90% of the time indoors and that these numbers were likely even higher over the past year. Together, these points can lead into a natural dialog about the entire wellness space, calling back to our three main pillars: better quality and the color temperature of lighting, air washing to provide clean fresh air and the great impact of pure water.
Wellness Lighting Offers More Than One Benefit
Installing lighting that is in tune with the human body helps users feel rested in the morning, tired at bedtime and more productive during the day. Additionally, the appropriate color temperature of light makes our food look more appetizing—it even improves our reflection in the mirror and can impact how we feel about ourselves.
Also, hanging artwork looks more realistic when room lighting and spotlighting is properly color balanced. The same can be said for the entire décor, from wall color to furniture fabric. All these things can complement a designer’s overall vision.
Wellness Lighting spills over in into lighting that is also convenient. It’s not just about body rhythm and color temperature. Installing motorized shades, for example, provides enormous ease. Users can wake up and reach for an elegant bedside touch panel or smartphone, select “Morning” and watch the shades slowly rise and the lights come room lights gently rise and come on.
Ultimately, this technology leads into improved sleep for their overall wellbeing and even better, overall feeling for the homeowners. Designers already play an important role by creating total sleep sanctuaries for homeowners, so the introduction of human-centric lighting can be played as an extension of that. As integrators, we can help designers provide that offering to their clients with extra added simplicity, so they don’t even need to lift a finger.
Non-Stop Air Washing & Clean Water
The benefits of clean air have been well discussed at this point. According to the EPA and other authorities, air pollution is a leading cause of poor health. Meanwhile, companies such as Delos and others are researching its effects so they have science readily available for integrators and end users to deploy air quality solutions in their homes.
Still, some fail to recognize the significant contributions that clean air makes to healthier home workouts, safer environments for babies and small children and general family health. Aside from that, greater insight into how certain elements play into indoor air quality control is a perfect topic of conversation. For instance, it’s worth noting that while furnace filters remove some airborne particles, their main purpose is to protect the furnace, not the living space.
On the water side, a paradigm is already present for toxin removal in drinking water. But people are also regularly bathing in water that is either warm or hot, and, because heat opens the pores, if the water is not truly clean, toxins and impurities are entering the body via the skin. Not everyone immediately thinks of this, so here is another topic where we can help educate.
Integrators Are More Than Just AV Experts
The most common questions designers ask is how wellness fits into the overall design of a project without taking away from it or hampering it (this includes cost concerns). While every project is different, the overall increase attributable to adding healthy components is rather small. And compared to the overall scope of a project, it is very reasonable. If you can deliver genuine improvements in quality of life that are backed by science, how can a cost be placed on that?
In the wellness narrative, when we explain how we bring much more than music and TVs to their client’s environment, we become far more integral to their overall goals. They see us as a valuable partner who can set them apart, and together we represent greater value to our customers and their complete environment.
Jan Vitrofsky is the founder of HEDsouth.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister publication DesignWELL365.