Saturday, November 30, 2013

LED smartbulb helps regulate circadian rhythm

LED lighting is not just about energy saving, or as greener alternative to incandescent light bulb. There is more to it - LED bulbs can be tailored into smart bulbs that 'nourishes' your circadian rhythm.

If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up groggy, you can now purchase a light-emitting diode (LED) smartbulb that reportedly can be programmed to tweak your circadian rhythms throughout the day.

The Smart Bulb Halcyon system. Photo - Halcyon

First, what's circadian rhythm

A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. In a strict sense, circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, although they can be modulated by external cues such as sunlight and temperature.

Circadian rhythms are important in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns of all animals, including human beings.

How can LED smartbulb help

Circadian disruptions, and the anxiety, insomnia and fatigue that they can cause, can decidedly be linked to the modern era, with people working late into the evenings in offices dominated by artificial light or looking at computer screens before bedtime, which research has found can leave people in an almost permanent state of jet lag.

British LED lighting company PhotonStar Technology Ltd. has announced its new consumer Smart Bulb system Halcyon, to be available to the general market in early 2014 but with a small pre-production run to go to Kickstarter backers. Early adopters can purchase three lightbulbs for £94 (about US$150), with delivery expected in April.

That's approximately RM496 at the current exchange rate.

An obvious contender against the Philips Hue sold in Apple stores and the upcoming LIFX Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color LED light bulb, the new Halcyon system is focused more on a multi-user solution for the whole home and family than its rivals, the company says.

The company claims that Halcyon is also the first smart lighting system to provide automatic circadian lighting, similar to the system commissioned by NASA to improve health and well-being by simulating changes in natural light, and preventing jet lag type effects.

How do you use it

To use, set your system to help you wake up in the morning with bright alertness-boosting light. "Design and select a scene to cook, whilst your partner takes a relaxing bath," the website says. "As your guests arrive, change the mood to something more relaxing."

"Any light that you turn on will be at the correct color and spectrum for the time of day, mimicking daylight, nourishing your circadian rhythm," the company says.

Source: TheBorneoPost's Nature & Health section, November 30, 2013, pp.21

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