Category: Light + Health

UL Launches Circadian Lighting Field-Measurement Service & Circadian Luminaire Certification

Randy Reid and Katie Smith recently published an article on LinkedIn, about UL’s latest moves into circadian lighting.

Randy Reid and Katie Smith recently published an article on LinkedIn, about UL’s latest moves into circadian lighting. The first new service from UL is a UL Circadian Field Measurement System. This service will allow UL field engineers to take measurements in customers’ buildings and create a floor plan with color-coded spaces to show the lighting designers where light output is above or below their circadian-effective lighting goals. This allows for field measurements to be taken with results being demonstrated in a heat map format. This service can be utilized in existing retrofits or new conditions.

Instead of working off computer-aided design plans, the system captures the actual light at eye level, including ambient light from windows and skylights and artificial light from luminaires, along with all of the reflectance from ceilings, walls, floors, furniture, and more. With those measurements, algorithms are used to calculate the effectiveness of the light’s ability to signal to the brain that it is daytime. Those calculations then create the circadian heat map that illustrates in color where people in that space will reach the circadian goals. These are voluntary goals defined by the lighting designer, based on the circadian model that they have chosen.

The second service is their Circadian-Effective Luminaire Performance Certification. In this program UL develops a custom testing and certification program to support a manufacturer’s verifiable marketing claims.

You can read the full article here.

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Signify’s NatureConnect Generated Excitement At LFI

Signify’s NatureConnect natural lighting system mimics the natural patterns of daylight indoors to create a unique daylight experience. The intensity and shadows change throughout the day. It creates interesting lighting scenes designed to reconnect people with daylight cycles, and bring the outdoors in.

One of the products that I heard a lot of people talking about at LightFair, was Ledalite
by Signify’s NatureConnect. The NatureConnect natural lighting system mimics the
natural patterns of daylight indoors to create a unique daylight experience. The intensity
and shadows change throughout the day. It creates interesting lighting scenes designed
to reconnect people with daylight cycles, and bring the outdoors in.

Ledalite / Signify claims NatureConnect:

  • Enhances wellbeing and circadian sleep/wake cycle.
  • Boosts performance: Makes people feel more energetic and stimulates interaction and collaboration.
  • Creates an inspiring environment.

Additional spec features include:

  • Tunable scenes to provide melanopic light doses at the right time of the day.
  • An intuitive user interface allows the user to choose from different Day Rhythm or Light Scenes.
  • A dual 0-10 V input to allow control of brightness (for daylight regulation), set the scene, or turn the system off.
  • Natural balance of horizontal and vertical illumination changing during the day.
  • Pre-commissioned automated behavior code-compliant UI & sensor.

More information is available here.

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New Research Establishes UV Wavelength, Dose, & Duration To Deactivate COVID Virus

In a newly published study, researchers from Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science answer many of the questions about UV disinfection of the virus that causes COVID-19, and lay the foundation for health standards about what offers true disinfection.

A recent EC&M article discusses new research into the wavelength, dose, and duration of UV disinfection to deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. In a newly published study, researchers from Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science answer many of those questions and lay the foundation for health standards about what offers true disinfection.

The paper, titled “Systematic evaluating and modeling of SARS-CoV-2 UVC disinfection” and published in Scientific Reports, is written by Distinguished Professor Kaiming Ye, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; BME Associate Professor Guy German and BME Professor Sha Jin, along with PhD student Sebastian Freeman; Zachary Lipsky, PhD ’21; and Karen Kibler from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

The best results during the study came from a range of 260 to 280 nanometers, which is commonly used in LED UVC lights. Ye believes the most important part of this research is that it offers a scientific basis for standardizing and regulating claims from manufacturers of UV disinfectant devices.

“The system we came up with can become the model for anybody who wants to standardize the dosage,” he said. “This is how to determine the eradication of SARS-CoV-2 using UVC — maybe also SARS-CoV-3, SARS-CoV-4, SARS-CoV-5. We hope we never get there, but we need to be prepared.”

Read the full article here.

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Hospital Lighting Market Projected To Surge

A recent LD+A article discusses the significant growth projected in the hospital lighting market. Research and Markets unveiled in their Hospital Lighting-Global Market Trajectory and Analytics report that the global market is expected to reach $8.5 billion by 2027,

A recent LD+A article discusses the significant growth projected in the hospital lighting market.   growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%a revised number from the previously projected $6 billion in 2020. Fluorescent lighting is now projected to reach $3.7 billion at a CAGR of 4.4%, while LED lighting has been readjusted to a growth rate of 5.5% for the next seven-year period. Highlights from the report include:

  • The U.S. Hospital Lighting market is estimated at $1.6 billion and China is forecast to reach $1.7 billion, with a CAGR of 7.6% over the 2020-2027 period.
  • Other notable geographic markets include Canada, Germany, and Japan; each is forecast to grow at 4.5%, 3.1%, and 2.8% CAGR respectively.

To learn more visit www.researchandmarkets.com , or read the full article here.

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Product Monday: It’s Not A Window, It’s LightGlass

LIGHTGLASS is a windowlight, an architectural element that brings the experience of a daylit window into any space. Through the integration of the latest LED lighting technology into the form and materials of a window, LIGHTGLASS is nearly indiscernible from a real window.

LIGHTGLASS is a windowlight, an architectural element that brings the experience of a daylit window into any space. Through the integration of the latest LED lighting technology into the form and materials of a window, LIGHTGLASS is nearly indiscernible from a real window.

LIGHTGLASS is a patented, prefabricated UL-listed lighting system with the appearance of a window, with integrated aluminum extrusion, glass, gasketing, and LED light panel delivering 94+ CRI, UGR below 12, no perceptible flicker, greater than 89% uniformity, and an L70 rating of over 100,000 hours. LED drivers included, and a system warranty of a minimum of 5 years.

CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) ranges between 2200K and 6500K as a standard feature. It’s possible to specify a single static CCT or dynamic Tunable White: user-controlled changes in CCT, used to recreate the dynamic lighting conditions of a typical solar day. This can be achieved by pairing LIGHTGLASS with a 3rd-party control system.

LIGHTGLASS is designed to produce broad-spectrum light, similar to sunlight. Warm and cool tunable LEDs work in unison to create a dynamic and immersive circadian lighting experience.

LIGHTGLASS is designed to aid circadian health indoors, providing the recommended levels of vertical illuminance at eye level when applied as a clerestory or window. Units produce short wavelength 450nm-490nm light at higher CCTs, optimized for creating a circadian response. LIGHTGLASS meets the WELL Building Standard EML requirements for Working Environments, Learning Environments, Living Environments, and Break Rooms.

More information is available here.

 

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Congress Debates Daylight Savings Time

Linda Longo, at US Lighting Trends, summarized the issues involved in proposed legislation to make Daylight Savings Time permanent and year-round, in the US.

Linda Longo, at US Lighting Trends, summarized the issues involved in proposed legislation to make Daylight Savings Time permanent and year-round, in the US. As of today’s date, the Senate passed its version of the bill in March, while the House of Representatives has introduced its bill, but not acted on it.

Making Daylight Savings Time permanent has significant light and health consequences, as resetting clocks significantly impacts circadian rhythms and human health:

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) – a professional society for the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine, which includes disorders of circadian rhythms – believes the U.S. should eliminate seasonal time changes in favor of a national, fixed, year-round time. According to the AASM, “current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round Standard Time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety.” (Read AASM’s full statement on the topic here)

Those opposed to DST are concerned by evidence that the body clock does not adjust easily to the seasonal time change even after several months. According to AASM, the worry is that “permanent DST could result in permanent phase delay, a condition that can also lead to a perpetual discrepancy between the innate biological clock and the extrinsic environmental clock, as well as chronic sleep loss due to early morning social demands that truncate the opportunity to sleep.”

There is concern that acute transition from standard time to DST could create public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle crashes. The group added, “Although chronic effects of remaining in Daylight Saving Time year-round have not been well-studied, Daylight Saving Time is less aligned with human circadian biology — which, due to the impacts of the delayed natural light/dark cycle on human activity, could result in circadian misalignment, which has been associated in some studies with increased cardiovascular disease risk, metabolic syndrome, and other health risks. It is, therefore, the position of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that these seasonal time changes should be abolished in favor of a fixed, national, year-round standard time.”

The full article is available here.

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Circadian Lighting Pioneer Says The Science Isn’t Ready Yet

Mark Halper has an interesting article in LED’s Magazine interviewing Russell Foster, the scientist who predicted the non-visual receptors in the eye that are involved in the circadian response to light (pRGCs / ipRGCs). He says circadian lighting science isn’t ready yet, and there are too many unknowns.

Mark Halper has an interesting article in LED’s Magazine interviewing Russell Foster, the scientist who predicted the non-visual receptors in the eye that are involved in the circadian response to light (pRGCs / ipRGCs). He says circadian lighting science isn’t ready yet, and there are too many unknowns.

“We’re not ready yet,” said Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. “We’re shuffling closely toward it, but there are major questions that remain unresolved. Yes, the toolkit is better than anything we’ve had before, but it is not the complete answer yet. We haven’t got the data to plugin.”

This is hardly what you’d expect from someone who, in the 1990s, posited the notion that certain cells in the eye’s retina receive light that has nothing to do with processing vision but has everything to do with maintaining the circadian rhythm.

Foster’s pioneering, decadelong hunch proved correct in 2002 when Brown University professor David Berson uncovered nonvisual photoreceptors, known as photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs). Foster himself also found them soon thereafter.

“There are many critical factors — intensity, duration wavelength, time of day, task, a person’s light history, their age,” Foster pointed out. “All are really important. There’s this level of complexity, and we don’t know the answers to many of the important questions” that need answering in order to develop truly effective circadian lighting.

Read the full article here.

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UK-Funded Study Publishes “Consensus View” For Circadian Lighting Recommendations

On March 17th, 18 circadian lighting researchers published a “consensus view” of circadian lighting recommendations, titled: Recommendations for daytime, evening, and nighttime indoor light exposure to best support physiology, sleep, and wakefulness in healthy adults, in the journal PLOS Biology. The authors include well-known circadian lighting researchers, George Brainard and Steven Lockley.

On March 17th, 18 circadian lighting researchers published a “consensus view” of circadian lighting recommendations, titled: Recommendations for daytime, evening, and nighttime indoor light exposure to best support physiology, sleep, and wakefulness in healthy adults, in the journal PLOS Biology. The authors include well-known circadian lighting researchers, George Brainard and Steven Lockley.

Three significant aspects of the paper are:

  1. The broad consensus achieved on a set of circadian lighting recommendations in a field known for its lack of consensus, and
  2. The paper focuses on the metric of Melanopic Equivalent Daylight Illuminance (Melanopic EDI).
  3. The paper achieves agreement between researchers in North America and Europe.

Abstract

Ocular light exposure has important influences on human health and well-being through modulation of circadian rhythms and sleep, as well as neuroendocrine and cognitive functions. Prevailing patterns of light exposure do not optimally engage these actions for many individuals, but advances in our understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and emerging lighting technologies now present opportunities to adjust lighting to promote optimal physical and mental health and performance. A newly developed, international standard provides an SI-compliant way of quantifying the influence of light on the intrinsically photosensitive, melanopsin-expressing, retinal neurons that mediate these effects. This new report provides recommendations for lighting, based on an expert scientific consensus and expressed in an easily measured quantity (melanopic equivalent daylight illuminance (melaponic EDI)) defined within this standard. The recommendations are supported by detailed analysis of the sensitivity of human circadian, neuroendocrine, and alerting responses to ocular light and provide a straightforward framework to inform lighting design and practice.

The full paper can be viewed here.

Brown TM, Brainard GC, Cajochen C, Czeisler CA, Hanifin JP, Lockley SW, et al. (2022) Recommendations for daytime, evening, and nighttime indoor light exposure to best support physiology, sleep, and wakefulness in healthy adults. PLoS Biol 20(3): e3001571. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001571

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Two New Sleep Studies Show Impacts Of Light On Young Children and Adults

Two new studies, one on young children, the other on adults, suggest detrimental health effects of light at night.

Light & Young Children’s Health

A recent study by a research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests even slight exposure to dim light can disrupt a youngster’s sleep. The research found any type of light exposure before bed can impact the production of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin comes from the pineal gland in the brain and impacts your circadian rhythm, a 24-hour biological clock in charge of regulating when to sleep and when to stay awake.

The research team recruited 36 children between the ages of three to five for a nine-day study where children wore wrist monitors to track their sleep and light exposure at night. The first seven days recorded the children on a stable sleep schedule to normalize their circadian rhythms and adopt a pattern where melatonin levels increase at the same time each evening.

On the eighth day, the team transformed the children’s home into “caves” where they placed black plastic on the windows to dim the lights. They also took saliva samples from each child every half hour starting in the early afternoon until after bedtime to look at when the children’s biological night began and the level of melatonin at that time.

On the last day, every child played a game on a light table one hour before bedtime, in a similar position as someone looking at a lit-up phone or tablet. The light intensity varied from five lux to 5,000 lux (one lux is equivalent to the light from a candle three feet away).

Results show exposure to light suppressed melatonin levels by 70 to 99 percent in comparison to the previous night. Unlike adults, exposure to light made a bigger difference in melatonin suppression than brightness.

Specifically, lights at five to 40 lux — dimmer than the average room — suppressed melatonin by 78 percent. Moreover, melatonin production continued to be delayed for an additional 50 minutes after exposure to light.

“Together, our findings indicate that in preschool-aged children, exposure to light before bedtime, even at low intensities, results in robust and sustained melatonin suppression,” says Lauren Hartstein, a postdoctoral fellow in the Sleep and Development Lab at CU Boulder.

Read the full article here.

 

Light & Adult Heart Health

Researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine have found sleeping in a moderately lit room can potentially harm a person’s cardiometabolic health. The study saw just one night of sleep in a room with moderate ambient light increased nighttime heart rate and spiked insulin resistance in the morning.

This new study recruited 20 healthy young adults and split them into two groups. One group spent two consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory under dim light (less than three lux), while the other group spent one night in dim light and a second night under moderate light levels (a room light at 100 lux).

Daniela Grimaldi, co-first author on the study, said her team saw heightened overnight heart rates in participants exposed to brighter light while they slept. This increased stress on the heart at night could plausibly result in declines in a person’s cardiometabolic health over the long-term, according to Grimaldi.

“We showed your heart rate increases when you sleep in a moderately lit room,” said Grimaldi. “Even though you are asleep, your autonomic nervous system is activated. That’s bad. Usually, your heart rate together with other cardiovascular parameters are lower at night and higher during the day.”

The researchers also saw increased insulin resistance in participants the morning after sleeping under moderate light. Senior author Phyllis Zee said this finding may offer clues to observational studies linking higher rates of diabetes to nighttime light exposure.

Read the full article here.

 

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Product Monday: Orro Incorporates Circadian Lighting Control Into A Smart Switch Platform

While there are a lot of smart wall switches in the market, Orro has innovated by adding automated circadian lighting scheduling with many of the other features that you’d expect from a premium smart switch.

While there are a lot of smart wall switches in the market, Orro has innovated by adding automated circadian lighting scheduling with many of the other features that you’d expect from a premium smart switch:

  • Automated smart lighting
  • Smart home control
  • Home monitoring
  • Vacation security lighting scheduling
  • Energy-saving features
  • In-home intercom
  • Daylight harvesting
  • Voice control via built-in Alexa

On a recent call, I asked the CEO, Colin Billings, about how the circadian lighting control works, and he shared that Orro automatically adjusts the intensity of the room’s lighting based on time of day, to provide more stimulus during the day and less at night, for better circadian entrainment. The system doesn’t address the spectrum of the lights, but recent research has shown that light intensity makes a bigger contribution to circadian stimulus than light spectrum does. In addition, the light sensors in the switch can factor daylight within a room into the light intensity level, for greater circadian health benefits.

The heart of the Orro Smart Living System is the smart switches containing sensors to detect motion, light, and sound, combined with Orro’s smartphone app. Orro’s system utilizes the sensor information about the room to default-automate many of the features listed above, making the system easier to use than one requiring every feature to be manually established in settings. The smart system learns and adapts the lighting based on homeowners’ habits and preferences. In addition to the automated circadian lighting feature, the company claims lighting usage reduction of up to 80% for both environmental benefits and electricity cost savings.

Last week, the company announced that it had extended its integrations to more 3rd-party smart home platforms, including Lutron Caséta, Lutron RA2 Select, Leviton, Kasa Smart by TP Link, and LIFX. This move gives Orro connections to more connected switches, dimmers, plugs, outlets, and lighting systems. Orro can be the main control for the home or part of a broader hybrid system.

Orro also goes to market differently than many of its larger competitors. The company’s primary channels are direct sales to smart home integrators, home builders, and electrical contractors. The company is not currently focused on electrical distribution, big-box DIY retail, or online retailers.

Two weeks back, the company announced the upcoming release of the Orro S, a reduced feature version of its circadian enables smart switch, at a 50% lower price point of $149 per switch MSRP, compared to its premium Orro One at $299 per switch MSRP. Orro One’s touch screen and voice-enabled features were removed from the Orro S to achieve the lower price point and create a more focused, sensor-enabled, smart dimmer with circadian benefits. The company believes the lower price point Orro S will allow builders to increase use of the Orro system in more rooms, as well as a wider range of smart home projects.  The Orro S will be available for the spring/summer home building season.

More information on the Orro Smart Living System can be found here.

 

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