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Welcome to our Healthy Homes and Workplaces 10-part series. In these stories, we delve deep into the science and engineering behind our machines to reveal our Dyson top tips, tricks and recommendations for keeping your home and workplace clean and healthy though lockdowns and beyond. Find out more on Instagram through #DysonHealthyHome.

healthy homes motif

The right light

As winter arrives, Dyson Neuroscientist Dr Karen Dawe shares her advice for lighting your work or study-from-home space.

With winter drawing in and the clocks having gone back, the change in daylight hours can affect our sleep patterns. It is not often understood how this shift in our social clock, but not the sun clock, affects the way we feel and how our body functions.

Dyson neuroscientist Dr Karen Dawe explains; “Our body clocks have evolved under the daily pattern of daylight. In fact almost all physiological functions from protein production and our metabolism to sleep patterns are under the control of the body clock.” 

As the daylight hours get shorter and nights grow longer and more of us than ever work from home, Dr Karen Dawe reveals her tips on how to use light to create a productive working environment.

  • Create a designated space

    Dr Karen Dawe: “Light plays an important role in signalling that a particular part of the room has a specific purpose. While building regulations make sure that office environments provide adequate levels of light, lighting in home offices is often overlooked.”

    • Take control of the lighting around you. Play with various options until you find the ideal personalised setup.

    • Consider how light falls around the entire room, not just directly around the light fitting.

    • Be conscious of the position of lights. Natural light coming through windows or spotlights reflecting off a computer screen could cause glare and eye strain.

  • Child working efficiently using Dyson lighting.
  • Choose the right light for your activity

    Dr Karen Dawe: “Research shows that people tend to use their home lighting in four ways: indirect light for general illumination, task light for high-precision work, feature light to accent features like artwork, and ambient light. Although countless types of lighting fixtures are found in homes, each light typically only does one thing.”

    • Think about the atmosphere you want to achieve for the room and precisely what you want to do in it.

    • Ensure you still have the right level of light for your task - if you want a cosy dim light to read under, make sure it still delivers enough light so you don’t get eyestrain.


• For intricate tasks such as painting, drawing or applying makeup, consider an artificial light with a high colour rendering index.

  • Child working efficiently using Dyson lighting.
  • Rest

    Dr Karen Dawe: “We all want to stay focused when working from home, but it’s vital to give your eyes rest. Forcing the eye to concentrate on a small region for a prolonged period of time, by reading a book or using a computer screen, often fatigues the eye muscles leading to eye strain.”

    • Adjust the brightness of your devices to provide a comfortable light. Adjust your text size if reading for prolonged periods. 

    • Look up from your screen and give your eyes a rest now and again.

  • Child working efficiently using Dyson lighting.
  • Create a daylight routine

    Dr Karen Dawe: Daylight is the gold standard when it comes to providing the right light for your tasks throughout the day. We have evolved to live and work under daylight’s changing brightness and colour temperature, regulated by cycles of day and night. This ultimately can impact how we feel and function.”

    • Start your day with a walk outside. This burst of early morning daylight exposure will anchor your body clock to the pattern of local daylight – signalling that the day has begun.

    • Consider interior lighting that gives you the ability to vary the light temperature (cool to warm light) and brightness for the time of day. Set up your working area near a window or in another naturally well-lit space.


• Start an evening routine of manipulating the light around you to create a relaxing environment – signalling to your body that the night is drawing in.

  • Child working efficiently using Dyson lighting.
  • Give your eyes the light they need

    Dr Karen Dawe: “As we get older the muscles that control pupil size get weaker and let less light in, while the lens hardens. These changes mean that, according to the IES, people over 65 need four times the amount of light compared to someone who is under 25 years of age.


As well as weaking muscles, the lens of the eye gradually yellows which affects colour perception. This yellowing lens absorbs and scatters blue light, making it difficult to see differences in shades of blue, green and violet. Colours may seem duller, and contrasts between colours will be less noticeable.”

    • Ensure you have bright enough lighting as your eyes age.

    • Bulbs with a CRI above 80 may best help older eyes with colour definition.

  • Child working efficiently using Dyson lighting.

Welcome to our Healthy Homes & Workplaces 10-part series. In these stories, we delve deep into the science and engineering behind our machines to reveal our Dyson top tips, tricks and recommendations for keeping your home and workplace clean and healthy though lockdowns and beyond. Find out more on Instagram through #DysonHealthyHome.

A woman using a Dyson Lightcycle Morph.

How to Deal with Daylight Savings Ending

Dyson neuroscientist Karen Dawe and behavioral sleep doctor Lisa Medalie break down the effects of daylight savings time ending

October 28 2020

This Sunday, November 1 at 2:00am EST, Americans will gain one more hour of sleep as the clock falls back, signalling the end of daylight savings time. While it’s great to have an extra hour in bed, the time change will cause a shift in the light we are exposed to and potentially also our daily routine. The change in light can have an impact on our body clock, more specifically our ability to get a good night of sleep and our productivity throughout the day. As we head into a traditionally darker season, we turned to our go-to experts on the matter of sleep and light. Dyson lead engineer Karen Dawe and behavioral sleep doctor Lisa Medalie break down the effects of daylight savings time and how to mitigate the imbalance our bodies feel when the clock falls back.

Dr. Karen Dawe on using light in your daily routine

  • Have the right light for the right time of day: Over the past 5 years, Dyson has researched the effects of light and how to use it to our advantage. We learned it’s important to have the right light for the right time of day to increase productivity levels and promote wellbeing. Humans have evolved using the sun to set their routine. In the middle of the day the sun is at its brightest and sends a strong signal to our body clock that it’s time to be alert, awake, and productive. When your body clock is out of sync with the light you see, this can physically impact us (jet lag is the perfect example of this). So you need to be sure your artificial light is giving you the right light for the right time. That’s why the Dyson Lightcycle uses daylight tracking to continually adjusts its color and brightness in relation to the user’s local daylight.


  • Create a light routine: Your circadian rhythm controls the rhythm of your body, including your temperature, metabolism, activity level and of course, sleep. Light is the primary signal to match your circadian rhythm with your local daylight cycle. Without light, our rhythms drift out of sync. A routine based around light can help you keep these rhythms in check. For example, waking up with a warm, low light that gradually increases in brightness and color temperature can help ease you awake instead of a blaring alarm clock. Equally important is making sure you have a warm dim light as it gets closer to bed. You need darkness to produce melatonin so bright cool lighting will prevent that happening.
A man uses a Dyson Lightcycle Morph light.

Dr. Lisa Medalie on establishing a sleep and lighting routine

  • Try a gradual shift: While it’s only an hour change, for some the shift can feel more intense. Try shifting your schedule a few minutes earlier each day for in the few days leading up to the change so it doesn’t feel like such a leap.


  • Track your energy levels: Typically, we will have times of the day where we feel more or less energetic. Try tracking your energy levels and after a few days you should see a pattern of when you may have the most or least energy. Just ahead of those low points, try adjusting the light around you to be brighter and more blue light to promote productivity during those mid-day slumps.


  • Create a bedtime routine (that does not include your phone): It’s understood that sleep can be hard to achieve when anxiety levels are high. And now more than ever, people are feeling isolated which can increase the desire to stay electronically connected even more. But having your phone involved in your bedtime routine is hurting your sleep – both from the light it exposes to our eyes and from a mental perspective. Try to take one hour for yourself before bed to not use electronics and instead do something for yourself, like reading, taking a bath or meditating. Then leave your devices charging on the kitchen counter so you’re not tempted to reach for them before falling asleep. And if you’re worried about how you’ll wake up without the alarm clock on your phone, consider purchasing an old-fashioned alarm clock or using a timed light to wake you up.  

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