SAVE ENERGY, INCREASE PROFITS AND PRODUCTIVITY WHILE DECREASING EMPLOYEE ABSENTEEISM WITH “HIGH DEFINITION LIGHTING�?
BY: LAURENCE D. MARTEL, Ph.D.
ABSTRACT: New scientific discoveries about how the eye perceives and processes visual information, as well as how the eye uses light for energy, regulates moods and avoids sleep deprivation can revolutionize the way in which we all think about how to light our work spaces, save energy and improve productivity. And High Definition Lighting is the answer.
DISCOVERING HIGH DEFINITION LIGHTING: What was discovered in… (the last decade)… was that pupil size plays a role in visual acuity and in interior lighting environments. Scotopically enhanced lamps which favor the “blue light�? wave reduce pupil size. According to Physicist and Stanford University professor, Dr. Sam Berman, “At typical interior light levels, smaller pupils will permit better vision. Present lighting practice often calls for reducing pupil size by raising light levels, which is not efficient and fails to utilize the response of the rods to control pupil size.�? It is only by changing the color spectrum with the addition of the blue spectrum that provides optimal conditions for smaller pupil size and increased clarity and acuity of vision for people of all ages. A special blend of the full color spectrum with enhanced blue, along with a high CRI and Kelvin temperature of 5900, is what we call High Definition Lighting. (www.bluemaxlighting.com)
BLUE LIGHT RESETS OUR TIME CLOCK: The researchers found that “blue light�? was twice as effective as the same amount of green light at resetting the internal circadian clock. The fact that “blue light�? was much better proves that a novel photoreceptor system exists in the human eye, different than what is used for sight. Previous studies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts, showed that rods and cones were probably not required to perceive light or reset the body clock. This was determined by demonstrating that light exposure to the eyes could affect the circadian rhythms of totally blind people, even though they could not see any light. The current studies confirm this important observation. Furthermore: “These findings provide us with a more complete understanding of how different types of light impact sleep patterns can cause various sleep-wake disorders such as jet-lag and shift-work disorder,�? said Dr. Stephen Lockley.
Writing about “Sleep Deprivation�? in the Human Relations Journal, Employment Relations Today, Joseph F. Coates’s article, “Sleeping on the Job: Some Considerations for HR�? reveals a significant risk at work from sleep deprivation. Coates continues with the claim that “… a survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that 51 percent of the U.S. workforce reported sleepiness on the job interfering with their work. Forty percent admitted the quality of their work might suffer when they are sleepy, and 19 percent reported making occasional to frequent work errors due to sleepiness….�? . Coates said that “Sleep disorders are extremely common, affecting as many as 40 million Americans, with around 25 percent of adults reporting having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month.�?
Coates continues stating that, “Overall, employees estimated that the quality and quantity of their work diminished by about 30 percent when they were sleepy. Despite the growing awareness that most sleepy workers cannot be stellar performers, little is being done to change business practices to correct the problem.�?
Mood disorders, anxiety, depression and other personal barriers to workplace performance are another sign of sleep deprivation. Michigan Psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Field, stated in a recent interview with me that when he and his staff use light therapy with “blue light�? fluorescent light and task lamps (from Full Spectrum Solutions, Inc.), his patients improve much faster with sustained levels of improvement. And this applies not only to patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but for patients with many other psychological problems as well. Even Dr. Field’s office staff has reported noticeable improvements in their own work performance and personal levels of reduced fatigue with full spectrum lights and enhanced blue phosphor lamps.
RESPONSE FROM THE LIGHTING INDUSTRY: The general theory of light effectiveness in the industry is largely outmoded, based on the new discoveries. However, some important experiments are going on which make scotopically enhanced lighting products available for the workplace today. Mr. Michael Nevins is a lighting inventor and manufacturer who is also an Affiliate Member of the University of California – Davis, California Lighting Technology Center. In an interview in May, 2005, I asked Mr. Nevins why there were not many products available that responded to the scientific evidence about “blue light.�? He said, “It is not easy to find the right balance and to produce the combination necessary to mimic ‘daylight’ and bring it indoors. But it is possible and the lighting products I have designed are a ‘blue light’ enhancement which takes lighting to a higher level of visual accuracy, clarity and comfort. I have finally developed a lamp that registers the same color temperature as noonday sunlight, which is 5900 degrees Kelvin. Because of this, outdoor sunlight can be brought into our offices, factories and homes. However, most lighting designers, architects and manufacturers prescribe 70 year old technology.�?
In addition, Mr. Nevins stated: “Apart from work and health issues, the benefits of the enhanced blue lamps include higher wattage, less electricity usage, extra ‘blue’ phosphors and higher CRI (we have 96 out of 100, where daylight is 100). We branded our products BlueMax Lighting ™, which contain a special blend of five color phosphors in a 70 watt full spectrum light bulb (most full-spectrum lamps have two or three phosphors with 18-27 watts). This special blend has been documented by a major research university to enable people to perform tasks better and to see crisp, clear colors as they appear outdoors under noon-day sunlight.�?
In response to the new scientific discoveries about the human eye and visual clarity, Nevins continued, “The BlueMax Lighting ™ products produce 4,300 lumens (brightness) of simulated daylight indoors and is equal in brightness to a 300 watt halogen bulb, without the heat. A major new result of this unique, special blend of phosphors, (including additional blue phosphors), is that BlueMax™ lamps produce the highest Color Rendering Index (CRI) of any full spectrum lamp available on the market from the lighting industry. These available lamp products have been independently tested by three separate laboratories at 96 CRI, compared to the noon day sunlight standard of 100 CRI.�?
To provide individual comfort at the work station, Nevins said, “I patented a dimmable switch for a lamp bulb that lasts 10,000 hours. The desk and floor models are made of sturdy metal and can be used both as work and task lamps when concentration is required. A major Research University has just completed a study comparing the new ‘blue’ lamps versus halogen lights and found increased visual capability and accuracy, without the dangers of heat and high energy waste. You can read the research and compare the available office and industrial lighting products for scotopically enhanced optimal light at (www.bluemaxlighting.com).�?
CONCLUSION: The good news is that recent scientific research proves that “blue light�? High Definition BlueMax Lighting™ gives us new options to increase productivity, effectiveness and well-being; while reducing accidents, saving energy and improving the quality of life. This is possible, in part, because manufacturers like Full Spectrum Solutions, Inc are combining science with technology to produce High Definition Lighting which shows promise to improve vision, clarity, focus and performance.
For further information contact:
Laurence D. Martel, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Development
Full Spectrum Solutions, Inc.
phone: 843-686-4050 fax: 843-686-4519