How do Biophilia and Smart Home Technology Mix?
Using Technology to Get Closer to Nature
What is biophilia? It may sound like a medical term, but it’s not. According to Webster's dictionary, it means "a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature."
Houston is fortunate to have warm temperatures almost year-round, so it’s not difficult for Texans to get out and enjoy the many natural opportunities in the city and beyond. But work, school, and so many other things activities often require people to spend the majority of their days indoors.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of technology to bring nature to us. Sometimes that endeavor is called biophilic design, and increasingly it’s being called by more familiar terms like technology for wellness.
Read on below to learn more about using biophilic technology and design in Houston to create environments that bring aspects of nature inside the home.
Did you know the human body naturally reacts to different types of light? If you happen to use the “night mode” feature on your smartphone, you are already using an example of biophilic design. Night mode decreases the intensity of your phone screen backlight and changes the colors to warmer tones. Brighter, bluer light tends to keep us more awake and alert, and warmer hues – like those of a setting sun – tend to relax us and help us wind down.
Much as night mode on our smartphones help us wind down, so does warmer, dimmer lighting. The newest feature of LED lighting is tunable white light. It has been used in commercial settings for some time and is now more widely available for residential use. Because of the nature of LED technology, with the right fixtures, white light can be tuned throughout the day to mimic the rhythms of natural daylight. Bright, bluer daylight from the sun awakens us and keeps us alert during the day, while in the evening, lights can gradually dim and warm, getting us ready for the day's end. With tunable white light, you might even sleep better too. And we can all agree there are real wellness benefits to that.
Crestron is a company that is a pioneer in both home automation and commercial automation, including lighting control. In the Crestron Design center in Houston (located in the Decorative Center), they have set up a demonstration of LED tunable lighting as an example of biophilic design for the home. If you are looking for new furnishings at the design center, Crestron’s Design Center is a must-see for smart home technology.
Bring Nature Inside with AV
A home theater or media room can be a place for immersing yourself in entertainment, like a great movie. All the power of the AV system in those spaces can also be purposed in other ways too. At the CEDIA 2019 trade show – the largest in the technology integration industry – one of the latest trends was the home theater as a meditative wellness retreat. It combined tunable lighting with a twist on the home theater. Think of scenes from a forest with nature sounds, an inspiring view from a mountaintop, or gazing out at the ocean waves, all on the big screen with full surround sound. Think of the lighting color temperature carefully matched to the scenes on the screen. Now think of doing a relaxing yoga routine while your mind is transported.
These are but two examples of using technology to bring nature inside when we can’t be outside. Relative Home Systems can create your notion of biophilic design with more smart technology and AV solutions. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our team. We’d love to work with you.