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

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Cities everywhere are jumping on the LED street light bandwagon and trading in their outdated fixtures for new & improved models.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:

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


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Human Centric Lighting hits a home run with the Seattle Mariners

Human Centric Lighting Hits a Home Run with the Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners may have just upped their game when they retrofitted their clubhouse with an LED lighting strategy focused on intensifying the moods, energy levels and performance of their players.

The LED-based project, headed up by Planled CEO John Hwang, Lighting Wizards principal Stan Walerczyk, and Harvard professor Dr. Steven Lockley, aims to prepare the players for the game with one type of light, and then wind them down afterwards with another. The desired outcome is a baseball team that’s alert and awake before and during the game, and rested and relaxed after.

What is Human Centric Lighting?
Human centric lighting (HCL) is the study and application of light on the human body: mainly mood, energy & health. There’s no question that recent advances in LED lighting technology have helped our planet with its cost-savings and energy efficiency, but how might it benefit me, as a human being? Can a personal lighting strategy make me a better wife, mother, employee? Can it make a professional athlete perform better? (more…)

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IYOL 2015 Logo

Light News: The 2015 International Year of Light

IYOL 2015 Logo2015 is the International Year of Light, and while we openly admit to being obsessed with anything light-related, we also understand that the rest of the world may not share our level of amazement. (Okay, we really don’t understand it, but we’ve come to accept it.) So imagine our joy when the United Nations announced this global initiative to educate the world about “the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.”

They could have done an International Day of Light, or even a month dedicated to light, but a year, folks. One. Entire. Year. (more…)

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Using Your Tablet or Smartphone in Bed May Be a Lousy Idea

using your tablet in bed bad idea

The conclusion of Daylight Saving time this past weekend means the night comes a little earlier. Logic may tell you that the longer and darker evenings will make falling asleep easier. However, even though the nights are longer we are also using smartphones, tablets and HDTV’s more and more in the 21st Century, particularly at night. Some scientists believe that Mr. Sandman has a new nemesis – the little blue light in all of these new-fangled devices.

What It Is

Naturally occurring blue light, a short wavelength in the light spectrum, is abundant in sunshine and hugely beneficial during the day when the majority of people need to be awake and alert. It’s been said to boost mood and increase attention span by stimulating sensors in the eye that then send signals to our internal clock. It also suppresses melatonin — a hormone produced by humans that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles — more than any other light wave. In fact, blue light is so efficient at suppressing melatonin that it’s often used to treat seasonal sleep disorders by mimicking the naturally occurring light of the sun. Here is where the problem surfaces — modern devices like high definition televisions, smartphones and tablets are massive producers of blue light. This blue light wreaks havoc on our circadian rhythms — our internal “body clock” that regulates 24-hour cycles, approximately — by basically tricking our brains into thinking it’s still daytime. (more…)

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Blue LED Light

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics Goes To …

Nobel Prize in Blue LED

For centuries man lit his night with an oil lamp that created only about 1/10th of a lumen per watt (a very small amount of light produced for the expenditure of a standard unit of energy). Then in the late 19th century the incandescent light bulb was invented and that eventually provided about 16 lumens per watt. In the late 1930s the fluorescent lamp became a reality and gave us an amazing average efficacy of about 70 lumens per watt. Now in the early 21st century still another revolutionary development is taking place – light emitting diodes (LEDs) are giving or will soon give us 300 lumens per watt. Think about the amount of change in the way we have lit our homes, offices, stores, factories, and streets in just the last 20-30 years. It is nothing short of astonishing and you can bet that more change is on the way in how we light the way we live. (more…)

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What Is Smart Lighting?

Smart LED Lighting

LED technology has been gaining a lot of steam over the past few years. In accordance, we have seen the prices of LED light fixtures and LED light bulbs decrease. Thrilling new projects involving OLEDs have tickled our fancies, and colossal displays of LED lighting – turning bridges into dragons, creating towers of kaleidoscopic light – have entertained us. But the most exciting developments in LED lighting fall within the realm of smart lighting.


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New LED Light Bulb Mimics Sunset to Improve Sleep


There’s a new LED light bulb in town. And it has been designed to help you fall asleep. Here’s the premise: Before we had electric lights, we adapted our sleep patterns to the rising and setting of the sun. But these days, many of us have completely lost touch with the natural rhythms of light and darkness. We stay up until the wee hours, our faces washed in the light of a computer or tablet screen, our eyes glazed over. We wake up to alarms, feeling perpetually like we haven’t gotten enough sleep. Sound familiar?


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Lighting Levels Affect Consumer Decision Making

bright light

A couple months back, Medical News Today published an article on the effect of room lighting on decision making. Invoking crime dramas in which suspects are interrogated under bright lights, the report suggests that people tend to feel emotions more intensely in brighter light. This finding is significant not just for retailers but for anyone who consciously uses light in their spaces for a desired effect.


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New LED Panel Mimics Sunlight

LED Panel

Recently, Digital Trends profiled a new product being developed by an associate professor of optics and experimental physics who works at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy. The professor’s name is Paolo di Trapani, and his work has a lot of people excited. For all the rapid progress that has been made with LEDs, no one else has made this important step towards recreating natural light.


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