Electricity supplies: As reported last month, the Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership (SPEP) that was set up by South Cambridgeshire Council, are looking at the possibility of setting up a scheme for “collective switching” of electricity supplies. It appears that other district councils are also looking into this possibility. We have not yet had any report about the discussions at Coton Village Hall on 14th November. Any further developments on this scheme will be reported next month.
Electricity monitors: These are still available on a free loan, if you should like to find out when, why, who, and what, are using so much electricity in your house! Please contact Trevor Brown (details below). These monitors were supplied to Little Gransden by SPEP.
The New Scientist magazine reported in their edition of 30th June 2012 that we should be paying attention to the colour of the light in our work place and home. Natural light varies subtly over the course of the day. We have evolved to respond to these variations, which influence our mood, sleep patterns, and health. Normally, the artificial light at work or at home never varies.
In the morning, we are woken up to the rising sun with a very yellow light, which normally stirs us into activity. Around midday, when the sun is shining, the blue sky radiates more blue light into our eyes and reduces our melatonin levels, which enhances our mood and improves our alertness. By evening time, as the sun sets, the light becomes very red, and allows the melatonin levels to increase, and prepares the body for sleep.
NASA is concerned about their astronauts when they live under artificial fluorescent light in space craft for days on end. They are now investigating the use of different colour light to wake them up, then keep them is peak alertness under blue light, and then to encourage them to get a “good night’s sleep” by relaxing them under a redder light. Similarly, Boeing, in their new 787 Dreamliner aircraft are developing lighting that can be colour controlled, and allow passengers to have a warm reddish light, so that passengers will arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed.
So, perhaps, we should wake up under lights with a colour temperature of 2000 to 2700K (warm white), work under halogen or artificial daylight of 3500 to 5000K (blue white), and retire to bed under reddish light (how romantic!). Or we could save electricity by getting up when the sun rises, and go to bed when the sun sets – just like our great grand parents did!