The amount of blue light in the sky changes throughout the day.
The human brain responds to the change in blue light.
More blue makes you alert.
Source: "Applicability and efficacy of variable light in schools" Barkmann, Wessolowski, Schulte-Markwort (2012)
Source: "Influence of blue-enriched classroom lighting on students'cognitive performance" Keis, Helbig, Streb, Hille (2014)
Less blue helps you sleep.
Source: "The Effects of Red and Blue Lights on Circadian Variations in Cortisol, Alpha Amylase, and Melatonin" Rea and Figueiro (2010)
Source: "Light as a central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect"LeGates, Fernandez, and Hattar (2014)
New lighting technology lets you adjust the amount of blue light.
(Try out this tunable desk lamp by sliding the bar.)
I Love Light
Light is the physics bridge between my technical passion and my social mission. Specifically, I see an immense opportunity to use human-centric lighting to help people who are trapped indoors: psychiatric patients, prisoners, the elderly, and students.
Having spent time with my grandmother in nursing homes, as a student and teacher in schools, and as an unwilling patient in psychiatric hospitals - I am very sympathetic to these groups. Fortunately, I've avoided prison (so far). The issue is this: if we are forcing people to be locked indoors against their will (psychiatric patients, prisoners, seniors, students) then we have a responsibility to provide for them a healthy environment. Personally, I don't think anyone should be locked up! But until I can find a way to unlock every door in the planet, the effort to bring healthy lighting to them will have to suffice.
Fortunately, my interest in lighting goes all the way back to my teens when I attended the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science and took a photonics course. I got to make telescopes, holograms, play with lasers, and fiber optics... it was damned cool. When I studied biomedical engineering at Boston University, I was awarded a Beckman Scholars Fellowship to study the effects of diabetes on the retina. (I don't support animal research anymore but I can't act like it wasn't really cool to setup experiments imaging mouse and salamander retina.)
During my senior year, a classmate and I launched A&J Biomedics, a startup company using a tunable lighting technology to manipulate proteins and eznymes. My second startup, American Relight, focused on bringing LED lighting to commercial properties. It was when working on American Relight that I was first introduced to the Human Centric Lighting Committee and tunable white lighting products. I was hooked!