Sam Manafi / Friday, June 28, 2013 / Categories: LED News, LED Lighting Updates, Technology LED Lighting and Health Benefits LED Lighting and Health Benefits - How our biological clock is affected by proper lighting. As LEDs are becoming more commonly used in many aspects and applications, the question of health benefits arise. The following excerpt describes how LED's are in fact, beneficial, to your health - along with many other amazing benefits. An LED is made like other semiconductor products, with each diode being cut from a wafer of crystals layered over a base of silicon, sapphire, nitride, or some other material. The crystal layer on early LEDs was gallium arsenide or gallium phosphide, which produces a narrow band of red color. All other colors, such as green, blue, or amber, also depend on the semiconductor materials used to make the diode. Because LEDs emit light at precise wavelengths — that is, where a specific spectral composition of light is important — they are ripe for medical/health benefit applications. We are just at the threshold of understanding how light levels and colors affect people — the intricacies of the interaction between lighting and our circadian rhythms. Proper lighting has positive affects on our biological clock. LED can provide more stable and controllable lights to benefit our health than other sources of lighting. When we don’t receive a strong, regular reception of light (similar to daylight), our “body clock” malfunctions. If a lighting control system can adjust the spectral content of light as well as the light level throughout the day, imitating the daylong presence of sunlight, it can help our biological clock, or circadian rhythm, stay in sync. During the central part of the day, blue light, at about 460 nm, stimulates hormone production for alertness and activity.Later in the day and evening, warmer color temperatures are preferred to help in the production of melatonin, the hormone secreted from the pineal gland that is needed for sleep activity. A majority of older adults report experiencing problems with sleep, and the LED light source can assist in providing the optimum amount of light and preferential wavelengths for people throughout the day. A 2008 study, with subjects whose average age was 85.5, demonstrated improvements in depression, agitation, and sleep when they received high daytime levels of light — plus or minus 92 fc. The ANSI/IES RP-28-07 document, “Lighting and the Visual Environment for Senior Living,” has recommendations for the aging population. However, they only apply for vision. Our body's biological clock responds to specific wavelengths differently throughout the day - LED lighting can emit this full range of light to metabolize our circadian rhythm. In 1980, The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) discovered the connection between light and health in an experiment that demonstrated how bright white light could suppress melatonin production. A few years later, scientists demonstrated that circadian rhythms in humans could be disrupted. In 2001, Dr. George C. Brainard, a professor of neurology in the Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, found that circadian rhythms could be disrupted with fairly low levels of blue light. He and other researchers concluded that the eye must have photoreceptors sensitive to blue light that perform non-visual functions. This hypothesis was confirmed a year later, when researchers at two institutions physically isolated the receptor. Counting on the versatility of SSL, one LED maker thinks that “biological-specific lights,” tuned so as not to interfere with an individual’s normal production of melatonin, could reach the lighting market in about two years. Another example of what the future holds is a small home lighting system that provides visual entertainment features. The system, which is controllable through a smartphone or tablet, consists of three LED Edison-based lamps and a bridge that plugs into a Wi-Fi router using the ZigBee Light Link standard. Each A19-sized lamp contains red, green, blue, and white LEDs to create any color or different hues of white light, from warm candlelight to a cool blue sky color. An app for this system features four preprogrammed lighting settings based on research concerning the biological effects that lighting has on the body. The manufacturer is also inviting developers to add even more features to this lighting system. This product appears to be close to what could be called “biological-specific lighting,” designed to not interfere with an individual’s normal production of melatonin. From both a “green” and health benefit perspective, the transformative potential of LEDs lies as much in their controllability as in their inherent efficiency. This opens the door for lighting designers and specifiers to make the most of this new technology. Source: Electrical Construction and Maintenance Images: Wikipedia & MediluX DIY Under Cabinet LED Lighting w/ EZ-Mount Linear Lights Should I upgrade to LEDs now or wait for it to get cheaper? Print 2177 Rate this article: No rating Tags: LED Lighting Biological Clock Health Benefits Please login or register to post comments.