ipad and iphone at night

Are Businesses ‘Waking Up’ to the Role of Blue Light in Sleep?

ipad and iphone at nightAn estimated 83.6 million sleep deprived people are shuffling around the U.S. at any given moment – so it makes sense that businesses are investing in products and technologies that focus on ways to get a good night’s rest.

When smart lighting entered the market, it made changing the color temperature of lights easy. With the touch of a button, users could program their lights to wake them up slowly, like a sunrise.

Apple’s recent update to iOS 9.3 introduced Night Shift, a feature that takes its cues from the sun (or more specifically, your device’s clock and geolocation) to gently shift the color temperature of your display to the warmer end of the light spectrum at night which may help you get a better night’s sleep.

The Basics of Blue Light

Blue light, a naturally occurring wavelength emitted in sunshine, was manufactured into light emitting diodes (LED’s) by three Japanese scientists in the early 1990’s, an invention so innovative that it led to a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014.  Smartphones, HD televisions, computers … all of these devices are enhanced by the brilliant light of this technological marvel.

Does Blue Light Mess Up Sleep Patterns?

The theory is that the blue light does such a marvelous job of mimicking the sun, that it “tricks” our brains into thinking that it is still daytime. (See Using Your Tablet or Smart Phone in Bed May Be a Lousy Idea for more information.)

The theory is that the blue light does such a marvelous job of mimicking the sun, that it “tricks” our brains into thinking that it is still daytime.

What Next?

Currently, there’s not enough data to definitively say that the blue light from devices is what is keeping people awake at night. Rather, maybe your wakefulness is a result of too much mental stimulation from playing a game, or just plain worrying about some email that you checked right before you went to bed?

Although the jury is still out on whether or not screens emitting light on the blue spectrum actually disrupt natural sleep cycles, Apple’s latest release may be a catalyst for more discussion on the side effects of late night screening.

What do you think? Have you tried Night Shift, or products that do something similar? Has it helped you get a better night’s rest?

 

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The Bay Lights photo credit James Ewing

The Bay Lights Project Will Dazzle at Super Bowl 50

The Bay Lights photo credit James Ewing25,000 LED lights, intricately programmed on a network of complex algorithms, will soon dazzle the San Francisco Bay area on the largest LED light sculpture ever created. But it won’t be the first time.

In March of 2015, after a two-year-long display, it was “lights out” for the beloved Bay Lights Project, an iconic architectural light sculpture dreamed up by non-profit organization Illuminate.org and made reality by renowned artist Leo Villareal.

The original project, which ran from March 2013 to March 2015, was deconstructed when the permit expired, allowing the city to do maintenance work on the cables. Illuminate immediately went to work raising the $4 million needed to ensure that the bridge would be re-lit.

Thanks to their efforts, an upgraded and reinstalled sculpture will dazzle once again on January 30, 2016 where it will afterwards be gifted to the State of California. (more…)

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Artwork of the Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel LED Lighting Renovation

Artwork of the Sistine ChapelIn November 2014, the spotlight was on the heavens, maybe even in the way that Michelangelo envisioned it himself. One year later, Osram sat in the spotlight for their role in the innovative lighting solution that made it possible.

500 years after its completion, The Sistine Chapel underwent a lighting renovation that has changed the way we see this historical masterpiece. Finding the right product and installation that offered a glare-free experience with no degradation of the original artwork was no small feat.

With strict oversight from the Vatican conservators, global lighting manufacturer Osram, along with a variety of project partners, designed and installed a custom LED lighting solution for the chapel. Some of the features of the award-winning installation: (more…)

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Green porch light shining for Greenlight a Vet

Green Light Bulbs to Show Support for our Nation’s Veterans

Green porch light shining for Greenlight a Vet

One of the nation’s largest mega retailers recently launched an initiative to show support and appreciation for our Veterans.

The campaign, called Greenlight a Vet™ invites Americans to do one simple thing — change one light bulb to green.

Change one light bulb to green
Source: greenlightavet.com

Key Information about the Greenlight a Vet™ Campaign

  • The initiative asks that this Wednesday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day) you change one light in your home or office to green to show support for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.
  • A central element of the campaign is raising awareness about the struggles that some veterans face after returning to civilian life. (more…)

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Man walking into bathroom stall with tooshlights installed

Lights that Made us Say WHAT? – Tooshlights

Lights that made us say What? Tooshlights

Sometimes in my search for lighting news to share with my readers, I come across a new lighting product that stops me in my tracks, causes me to raise my brows and even makes me chuckle. Tooshlights® are definitely one of them.

The Los Angeles start-up recently brought to market an automated lighting system that uses glowing red and green LED lights to signal patrons when a bathroom stall is available. Quite literally in this case, “green means go.”

Man walking into bathroom stall with tooshlights installed
via Tooshlights.com

You can install Tooshlights in any size restroom, but the advantages really come into play in large venues like stadiums, airports, theme parks, and performing arts centers, etc. There are some nice benefits for the end-user (no pun intended) and for the venue: (more…)

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LEDs Hit the Streets

Cities everywhere are jumping on the LED street light bandwagon and trading in their outdated fixtures for new & improved models. We’ve known for years that LEDs have many advantages over their incandescent counterparts, so why the sudden push to make the switch?

LED street lights compared to conventional street lights in Sacramento County
This image from Sacramento County’s recent lighting upgrade reveals the vast difference in color temperatures between LED and Conventional street lights. (Photo credit: saccounty.net)

Why are Cities Getting Rid of Conventional Street Lights?

Take a look at some of the benefits LEDs offer over conventional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) street lights:

  • LEDs are 10x more energy-efficient
  • LEDs last 25x longer (less maintenance, reduced lamp toxins in landfills)
  • LEDs offer advanced lighting controls (dim or power off when not in use)
  • LEDs offer better visibility (less glare for drivers, better images for security cameras)
  • LEDs reduce light pollution by not diffusing light in all directions

(more…)

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