7.10.20

Healthy Lighting

Adaptive indoor lighting is long overdue.

Modern lighting is much more efficient due to the introduction of the light-emitting-diode (LED).  In addition to saving energy, it is now possible to create lighting systems that are healthier, with reduced flicker and time-of-day (circadian) color temperature control. Domatic is a key enabler on both fronts.

Circadian Lighting

Our phones and computers have had, for a few years now, the ability to adjust the color temperature of the light being emitted from their screen to help us regulate our sleep cycles.

Light coming from our computer and phone screens is composed of three fundamental colors: red, green, and blue. When a pixel on a screen emits roughly equal amounts of all three components, we see what we know of as white:

But not all white light is the same. Make a slight adjustment in the composition of the components and the resulting white light starts to look a little more red or a little more blue.  We call this variance the “color temperature”, and our phones and computers can regulate this by reducing the amount of blue in each pixel to shift the temperature towards the red end of the spectrum.

Light fixtures generally produce a particular color temperature based on the technology used to turn a power source into light. Oil or gas flames, incandescent filaments, and fluorescent lights all produce light at different color temperatures. Modern lights use LEDs to turn electricity into photons. White LEDs produce a specific color temperature as well, but manufacturers can adjust the temperature by adjusting the recipe for the LEDs at the factory.

Image from WebMD

Color temperature is now becoming an important choice for lighting designers, and manufacturers are making LED fixtures that allow for selection of color temperature.  These fixtures are usually made with two types of LEDs, some at the red end of the desired temperature spectrum, and others at the blue end. By controlling how much power is diverted to each type of LED, the perceived color temperature of the fixture can be controlled. If the fixture is smart enough, the temperature can be controlled dynamically from a remote control or a smartphone.

Varying color temperature throughout the day has been shown to have a positive impact on sleep and overall health.

Flicker

In addition to temperature, an important aspect of quality lighting is flicker. If you record a typical incandescent bulb with a high-frame rate camera, you’ll notice that it turns on and off approximately 100 or 120 times per second (depending on the part of the world you’re in). We’ve gotten used to this, but it’s not natural, and flickering lights can cause headaches, trigger seizures for epileptics, and create undesired visual effects with moving objects.

To address these issues, taking advantage of the novel ways LED light fixtures can operate, the IEEE has published a recommendation, PAR1789-2015, that sets targets for modern lighting controls to minimize flicker and mitigate health risks

Domatic and Better Lighting

Domatic makes healthier lighting commonplace. Because Domatic light fixtures don’t operate on 50/60Hz mains, color and intensity control (dimming) are immune to grid frequencies. Domatic LED drivers modulate intensity at 1400 Hz, eliminating perceived flicker. Domatic drivers also balance intensity delivered to multiple LED elements, so color temperature control is implicit in the design.  

Domatic light fixtures don’t require additional circuitry for control. The Domatic network carries power and a data network on the same wires so all fixtures are capable of circadian lighting control and energy efficient dimming under software control using a variety of inputs, including wall switches, occupancy sensors, voice controls, smart phones, and time-of-day algorithms.Because Domatic-enabled fixtures are hard-wired into a building, easy to commission, and operate at low-voltage, class 2 power levels, high quality lighting is significantly more cost-effective with Domatic than traditional methods.


Designed by Coco

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