Category: Light + Health

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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Using LLLC Occupancy Sensors To Improve Indoor Air Quality

A University of Oregon researcher makes an interesting case for how Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC) sensors can improve indoor air quality and human health. Over the last year, returning to offices and schools in a pandemic increased awareness of indoor disease transmission, energy consumption, and overall indoor environmental quality.

A University of Oregon researcher makes an interesting case for how Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC) sensors can improve indoor air quality and human health. Over the last year, returning to offices and schools in a pandemic increased awareness of indoor disease transmission, energy consumption, and overall indoor environmental quality.

University of Oregon’s Energy Studies in Buildings Lab published a whitepaper in May that explored how LLLCs have the potential to revolutionize how we monitor and respond to indoor environmental factors that impact human health. LLLCs have a networked occupancy sensor and ambient light sensor installed for each luminaire kit. The wireless sensors are embedded at the fixture level, which can independently modulate light intensity, apparent color, and spectral distribution through onboard controllers and sensor packages. Since each fixture is capable of sensing and responding to ambient conditions, LLLC systems provide light only where it is needed, saving significant amounts of energy.

With LLCs, you have a new sort of data coming from your lighting system that is distributed occupancy awareness. The onboard occupancy sensor helps guide the fresh air delivery systems so that the building is providing fresh air where and when it is needed and doing it more quickly than other sensor technologies.

Another way LLLC can benefit human health is through circadian regulation, where the onboard daylight sensor can track what the likely dose is of each occupant in each space in terms of the daylight available and potentially supplement that with the electric light on board or guide users through a hot-desking system to the better-daylit locations.

Luminaire level lighting controls are already integrating occupancy sensing with plug strips so that you could turn off unnecessary plug loads. It’s connecting with daylight harvesting and therefore dimming the electric light according to the daylight available, and the study authors believe that in the future, LLLC sensors could also connect with building ventilation systems so that you provide the fresh air when and where it’s needed based upon the distributed occupancy signal from LLLC occupant sensors.

Read the full article here.

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5 Tech Trends That Will Dominate Facility Management In 2022

New technologies are creating novel tools to pursue healthy and sustainable buildings. At the same time, North America is moving toward a post-pandemic, new normal.

New technologies are creating novel tools to pursue healthy and sustainable buildings. At the same time, North America is moving toward a post-pandemic, new normal.

FacilitiesNet.com predicts expanded use of facility technology in collaboration with the continuing high demand for real estate. Whether you need to spot opportunities to accommodate the evolving needs of tenants or want to anticipate what shifts might lie ahead for your buildings, one thing is clear: physical environments will need to provide the in-building experience that stakeholders want, including a focus on available data, sustainability initiatives, and most importantly, indoor air quality and building health.

  1. Healthier and smarter buildings driven by tenants – Building owners who focus on providing healthier and smarter spaces will find greater opportunities to satisfy current tenants and recruit new occupants.
  2. Healthy building standards will attract tenants and increase portfolio values – Landlords of healthy buildings can collect between 4.4 and 7.7 percent more per square foot in rent than nearby, non-certified and non-registered peers. When building owners use adopted and certified standards, they will increase their bottom lines. But to truly utilize a healthy building technology to its full potential, owners and managers need to be consistent with the collection and analysis of data.
  3. Data will be king – More than simply informing behind-the-scenes building operations, these data and insights will also actively drive decisions to improve occupant comfort and health. Data needs to flow into a platform configured by building professionals to manage the indoor environments better. An intelligent building platform can connect disparate thermostats, air quality, occupancy sensors, and mechanical equipment to take action automatically.
  4. Sustainability remains a concern for building owners – In 2022, landlords and tenants will leverage technologies to minimize energy usage and reduce their carbon footprint. The goal is to allocate energy usage proportional to the capacity in use. For further insights into sustainability, technologies exist that help utility customers determine whether they source their energy from renewable sources. Using these technologies, property owners can buy energy only when renewables are available, helping meet corporate sustainability goals and reducing their carbon footprints.
  5. The workplace as an experience will drive building management  – The Great Resignation has made it apparent that people prioritize their physical and mental health when choosing employment. These choices will also be aligned with the building environments in which they might find themselves working. Since the future of work will likely be hybrid, employees will come to the office with focused intentions. Since many people will continue to have the option to work remotely, the office will instead need to provide a space for specific uses – i.e., in-person client meetings or team collaborations. In this way, the office becomes a destination for meaningful and purposeful interactions.

Read the full article on FacilitiesNet.com, here.

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Product Monday: Commercial Ceiling Fan With Upper-Room GUV

Greenheck, a provider of air movement equipment, announced the incorporation of patented Northern Light® UV-C technology into its line of AMPLIFY™ overhead HVLS fans, today.

Greenheck, a provider of air movement equipment, announced the incorporation of patented Northern Light® UV-C technology into its line of AMPLIFY™ overhead HVLS fans, today. AMPLIFY with Northern Light’s patented design combines the air cleaning benefit of upper-room UV lighting with the air circulation capabilities of overhead fans. Upper-room UV lighting systems (also known as UVGI) have been used for decades to help control airborne pathogens in medical facilities and are recommended by the CDC, ASHRAE, and other organizations as part of a multilayer strategy to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The addition of air movement has been shown to increase UV-C’s effectiveness.

Non-ozone generating UV-C bulbs are installed inside the AMPLIFY fan blades and positioned toward the tips of the blades where the majority of air movement occurs for the most effective inactivation of pathogens. The uplight design directs UV-C light away from occupants and into the upper room, where air is being circulated by the fan, minimizing UV radiation exposure for safer system operation. The result is a system that is more effective than traditional air-cleaning technologies at inactivating airborne pathogens and distributing clean air in occupied spaces.

Northern Light technology is currently available on AMPLIFY DC-5 overhead fans in four diameters ranging from 6-16 feet nominally, with more models and sizes to be added. For more information, click here.

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The Critical Importance Of Proper Hospital Lighting

A study in the UK highlights the critical importance of proper hospital lighting, as well as other healthcare buildings. According to the study, patients who were served in a newly renovated hospital were able to be released a day and a half earlier than those who were served in the old buildings.

A study in the UK highlights the critical importance of proper hospital lighting, as well as other healthcare buildings. According to the study, patients who were served in a newly renovated hospital were able to be released a day and a half earlier than those who were served in the old buildings.

The role played by décor and lighting is often underrated. Most healthcare providers fail to understand that poor lighting provides an unpleasant environment.

  • Receptionists’ desks will also work more efficiently if the wall behind them has an eye-catching accent color, has a significant signpost, and is well lit. People with cognitive impairments and temporary disorientation find such landmarks very useful when accessing a complex environment.
  • Lighting for nursing and medical staff should enable hospital staff to make charts or read medical equipment anywhere in the building. The general recommendation for the illumination of nursing stations is about 150-300 lux lighting level
  • There are patients who may wish to sleep early. For such patients, high illumination levels will be a nuisance. This article recommends that a patient’s room has an illumination requirement of about 100 lux. On top of this general lighting, patients can also be given extra individual lights like bed headlights. The patients themselves can operate these individual lights.
  • Some healthcare spaces require proper examination of patients and the need for lighting that can provide even 1000 lux. This is where a portable examination lamp is a good solution. This portable lamp can be connected to bedside sockets.
  • Night lighting levels should anticipate nurses monitoring a ward, and patients needing to go to the restroom. 1 lux of lighting is recommended in the article.
  • Surgical areas, ICUs, and even access roads deserve special consideration.

The full article is here.

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Legrand Announces Publication of Research Study Demonstrating Indigo-Clean Light Technology Effectively and Safely Kills SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A Viruses

Legrand recently announced the publication of research showing its Kenall Indigo‑Clean light disinfection technology effectively and safely inactivates SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A viruses in a range of real-world clinical settings. The study was published in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Legrand recently announced the publication of research showing its Kenall Indigo‑Clean light disinfection technology effectively and safely inactivates SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A viruses in a range of real-world clinical settings. The study was published in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The paper, “The virucidal effects of 405 nm visible light on SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus,” was published in Scientific Reports on September 30, 2021. It reflects how researchers evaluated the inactivation rate of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using 405 nm visible light under a range of clinical conditions. Kenall then applied these findings to a real-world usage model and determined that Indigo-Clean would achieve a SARS-CoV-2 inactivation rate of 94% based on 12 hours of occupied room use and 12 hours of unoccupied room use. The study was funded by Kenall.

The potential of specific wavelengths within the electromagnetic spectrum is an area of growing clinical interest. Ultraviolet (UV) technologies have demonstrated the ability to reduce virological spread, but potential toxicities have limited its use in occupied spaces. Longer wavelengths with less irradiation energy such as visible light (405 nanometers) have largely been evaluated in bactericidal and fungicidal applications. This research offers new evidence that lower-risk 405 nm visible light can inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A viruses.

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Nurse Builds “Light of Appreciation”

Colorado nurse Laura Weiss temporarily came out of retirement to help her colleagues vaccinated thousands of people against COVID-19 in Boulder, jabbing as many as a thousand people a day. She marked the effort with an homage to healthcare heroes, a chandelier constructed from empty vaccine vials.

Colorado nurse Laura Weiss temporarily came out of retirement to help her colleagues vaccinated thousands of people against COVID-19 in Boulder, jabbing as many as a thousand people a day. She marked the effort with an homage to healthcare heroes, a chandelier constructed from empty vaccine vials.

The CBC has the story here.

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LHRC Releases Version 2.0 of Circadian Stimulus Calculator

The Light and Health Research Center (LHRC) at Mount Sinai has released an extensively revised version of its free, open-access circadian stimulus (CS) calculator based on recent advances in the understanding of light’s effects on the human circadian system.

The Light and Health Research Center (LHRC) at Mount Sinai has released an extensively revised version of its free, open-access circadian stimulus (CS) calculator based on recent advances in the understanding of light’s effects on the human circadian system.

As with earlier incarnations of the tool created when LHRC researchers were based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, the CS Calculator version 2.0 is designed to help lighting professionals quantify potential circadian-effective light exposures in architectural spaces.

Building on the previous tool’s capability for calculating CS levels from multiple sources and enhanced functionality for displaying results, CS Calculator version 2.0 now features:

• Addition of exposure duration, with times apportioned in 15-minute increments
• Refined accuracy of CS predictions for narrowband sources
• Availability of CIE α-opic irradiances in the output metrics
• Upload/download capability in TXT and JSON formats
• User interface improvements
• Backwards compatibility with older versions of the CS Calculator
• Bug fixes

Lighting professionals can use the CS Calculator 2.0 to compare the effectiveness of various light sources and light levels for stimulating the circadian system based on the circadian light (CLA)
and CS metrics. CLA characterizes the spectral sensitivity of the circadian phototransduction circuits in the human retina and CS reflects their operating characteristics, from threshold to saturation. CS is, therefore, postulated to be a measure of the effectiveness of optical radiation incident on the retina for stimulating the master biological clock.

Click here to download the latest version of the CS Calculator.

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