While attending Lightfair International in Chicago last week, we talked to many experts about key topics for our upcoming reports and gathered a lot of information. With our focused report and event on lighting for health and wellbeing, this show was especially fruitful. There were a few standout topics that we heard companies bring up that should have an impact on the products coming out next and ultimately the market as whole.
Visible Light Disinfection
One set of technologies I found very interesting was a visible light disinfection. Since this technology does not rely on UV-C (which breaks up DNA) to kill microorganisms, it is safe to be under. This works by utilizing a particular spectrum of light in the 400-450nm range that triggers photo-activation in bacteria, yeast, and fungi. That causes them to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) which damages the cell structure, eventually killing it. Manufacturers like Kenall (using Indigo-Clean) and Visa Lighting (with Vital Vio) harness this spectrum in their fixtures with particular LED technologies. In comparison, Current by GE has also entered into this market but uses UV-A light (315-400nm) to fight organisms. Signs indicate that this technology will become a standard in the healthcare industry as it improves and the sale price drops but would not be surprised if it then is adopted into other applications where you have large groups of people gathering e.g. schools and public transit.
Non-Flicker LED Lights
Another technology that caught my attention was non-flicker LED lights. While this is an issue that most people in the industry are aware of, I feel it is an important factor that needs to be discussed further for the overall health of the population. While flicker is not immediately perceivable by the human eye, it can have negative effects on those who suffer from migraines, autism spectrum disorder, or epilepsy. The biggest opportunity for non-flicker LED application is in hospitals and other healthcare facilities; however, generally speaking this technology should also be applied in places where we spend most of our time such as schools and offices.
Of course, we saw a great deal of tunable lighting products that were presented as having an impact on health. That being said, it is important to note that in many cases the science is still out on this. Even when there is research on this subject, applying this technology properly so it has a measurable benefit can be very tricky. I would encourage you to attend our Lighting for Health and Wellbeing conference on July 18th, where our main goal is to educate manufacturers and consumers on what is known and what still needs more research in terms of how lighting affects us and the new technologies being used in this sector.
Please like and share this blog, and if you found something interesting about human centric lighting that we didn’t mention, please let us know in the comments below.