The Circadian Rhythm
Posted on October 4th, 2017 in category "Tips"
Here we are, that time of year again when we roll the clocks back and suddenly it’s dark early in the evening. Also a good time to think about our lighting and how it affects us.
Many of us living in the Pacific Northwest already understand the effect that our lack of sun and short winter days has on our health. The Circadian Rhythm (sometimes here in the PNW referred to as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder) impacts everything from sleep and mood to the health of our immune systems. Humans have only been living under artificial lights for less than 150 years, before that we rose with the sun and we spent our evenings by the light of the fire. While researchers continue a deeper understanding of the link between light and health, there are many things we can do to help lessen the affects.
First let’s review a bit about the human eye ~ the human eye possesses a set of non-vision photoreceptors that help regulate the circadian rhythm and production of important neurochemicals needed for good health. These photoreceptors are located in the lower back section of the eye to more efficiently collect blue-rich light from above; the sky.
For the average person exposure to a rich-blue light in the morning to early afternoon is recommended. Reducing the rich-blue light to a more red-rich light in the late afternoon and into the evening is advised. After 10:00pm total darkness is recommended or very low levels of red-rich light. Even an incandescent light if it is too bright can disrupt the circadian cycle. This cycle of light and dark can be challenging for those that work the night shift, research is also being done in this area.
Now for the kicker ~ turn off your electronic devices at night. Using your smart phone or reading with an electronic tablet can trigger health issues such as sleep disturbances or depression. If you suffer from some of these health issues, do your research on the light wavelengths of different light sources. Just because a lamp is 4100K does not mean it has the optimal amount of energy in the circadian-optimized spectra (the recommendation is near 460 nanometers). In fact, most “full spectrum” lights do not have circadian-optimized spectra.
Much research is being done into how lighting impacts health. From how lighting can make you find people more or less desirable, shrink your waistline or trigger depression to how it can potentially unlock the link between sleep disturbances and dementia, and fine-tuning drug therapies. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this research.
In the meantime ~ get outside and get some natural light! It is good for your health.
Information taken from an article in the LD&A, written by Scott Roos.
Photo courtesy of Juno Lighting Group
Posted on June 8th, 2017 in category "Tips"
Are you a business owner considering remodel? Be sure to talk with your local utility representative before you get started. There may be some rebate or tax incentives available to help you in your decision making about what kind of products to use. To give you an idea, here is a case study of a retail store that we helped with their lighting needs.
Retail Store, Portland Oregon
2550 square feet
Open 43.5 hours per week
Track fixtures for merchandising mounted at 17 foot
70 x 50W GU10 Halogen
12 x 50W PAR20 Halogen
Total 4100 Watts
Track fixtures for merchandising mounted at 17 foot
45 x 15W PAR30 LED
12 X 7W PAR20 LED
Total 759 Watts
3341 watts energy saved
7,133 kilowatt hours saved
$614 per year off the electric bill
3 tons of CO2 generated by fossil fuels saved
0,4 acres of reforested tress saved
$855 rebate incentive paid to the owner
Posted on May 11th, 2017 in category "Tips"
Are you still struggling with how much light that LED light bulb is going to give you? The light output of LED is measured in lumens. Our brains have been trained to measure light output in watts. Time to flip the switch in our brains! Here is a simple reference chart to help you with the conversion to lumens.
- 100 watt incandescent = 1500 lumens
- 75 watt incandescent = 1100 lumens
- 60 watt incandescent = 630 lumens
- 40 watt incandescent = 490 lumens
A Repeat Broadcast
Posted on March 9th, 2017 in category "Tips"
Remember when you were little and you would make a wish upon the first star seen? Tonight, after dark, go outside and take a look at the night sky in your area. What do you see? Do you see stars? Did you know that city dwellers only see about 3% of the stars in the sky? There are simple and inexpensive steps we can take to help reduce light pollution and restore the beauty of our night sky. Learn more about light pollution and the night sky on our FAQ page.
Posted on January 24th, 2017 in category "New"
LightOvation, the new name for the Dallas Market Center lighting show. We just got back and have so much to share with you. What is trending for this year? Glad you asked!
Innovation, LightOvation! With LED available in so many different configurations we aren’t locked into the “wagon wheel” shaped chandeliers that have been the staple for many years. Oh sure, there were still circle shapes, circles with a twist! Chandeliers that move so you can configure them yourself. Circles that twist, circles that stack, circles in gyroscope shapes. And it didn’t stop there. There were also squares, starbursts, wings, helix shapes, spirals and linear.
Mix it up! Mixed metals were everywhere. Many of the LED fixtures had chrome or polished nickel hardware; finishes that added some sparkle. Soft brushed gold, copper and brass are still trending. Some of the biggest hits were the mixed metals; black with gold, satin nickel with chrome, bronze with copper. You name it and you could find it.
Super-size it! Can we raise that ceiling? We saw many oversized pieces to make a statement with. Perfect for entry ways, stairs, use one or two large size fixtures over dining tables or kitchen islands. Anywhere that can accommodate a large scale fixture. Like we always say “better too large than too small”!
New arrivals should start rolling in around March. Be sure to come by and check them out!