Research shows how natural light benefits plants, people

New research suggests that live plants are the canaries of our modern workplace. “By ensuring the proper amount of natural light indoors to support plant life, it’s possible to support a healthy and productive environment for people, too,” said Shane Pliska, president of Planterra.

Pliska explores these concepts in depth in the newly-released Planterra Lighting Guide for Interior Landscape Design.

“I wanted to provide a resource for architects, designers and building owners to use for upcoming projects,” he said. “It is focused on how to provide the proper light to sustain life plants inside buildings.”

Shane Pliska, president of Planterra. Photo by Trevor Long

Through his work for Planterra, a provider of interior landscape, horticultural and design-build services across the United States, Pliska discovered that when people searched about lighting for indoor plants online, it was dominated by resources for growing marijuana, which has very different requirements than lights needed for architectural settings. After encountering business owners who were misled by this process, and one who mistakenly purchased garish purple lighting suitable only for marijuana, Pliska sought to set the record straight by developing this new white paper.

In Planterra Lighting Guide for Interior Landscape Design, Pliska aimed to inform readers on lighting availability and placement, the impact of windows and the spectrum of sustainability.

Photo by Tony Frantz

“The Planterra Lighting Guide is a wonderful resource for designing interior spaces for much needed daily interaction with nature,” said JD Brown, program director of Biophilic Cities. “A growing body of science confirms that access to nature is critical for our health and wellbeing, improves cognition and productivity. This guide will help to design spaces that connect interior spaces to the outside world to deliver this needed interaction with nature and the resulting benefits.”

“Planterra’s new white paper on lighting for interior landscaping is a welcome resource for those of us responsible for designing, installing, maintaining or managing interior landscapes and the buildings in which they are located,” said Nelson Hammer, landscape architect and author of Interior Landscape Design. “It will assist such professionals in determining how both artificial and natural sources of light will affect the locations where plants are proposed or exist, and how to create the best possible environment for them. Early coordination between the interior landscape designer and the building designer is rarely if ever achieved. If architects were provided with this white paper, it might help foster that early coordination.”

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