In terms of light, new research is being conducted on the potential of light to heal, sooth, invigorate, or safeguard people. The research started with energy efficiency, but recently innovations are ranging from smart lampposts that can sense gas hazards to lights harnessed for office productivity. They are even researching lights that can cure jet lag! The article states, “Digital lighting based on LED’s offers the opportunity to fit beams delicately across stages like the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge-creating a light sculpture more elegant than light shows on display in Times Square.” Ed Crawford, senior vice president of Philips Lighting America states, “Up until now we only thought, do I have enough light to see, to clean my room, to cut a diamond? Now it impacts what I do, how I feel, in emotional ways.” Over 20% of electric power used is by lighting and LED’s can cut consumption by over 80%! Unfortunately, there are a few hurdles in the LED light world.
For one, the public’s wariness of the product after the environmental exhortation of the 2000’s, which lead to a phase out of the old incandescents which lead to a preference of compact fluorescent bulbs. Based on that, it is believed that consumers are leery of buying into something they suspect might be substandard. Companies are starting to sell new digital lighting in forms that will fit into the prerevolutionary with sockets and streetlamps. Hue, a bulb being produced by Philips not only dims and brightens, but also changes color on command. Light companies feel that the latest generation of LED’s will allow the consumer to get energy savings without the compromise.
The article states that the cost of an LED light would normally be about $30, but 40 and 60 watt LED equivalents are selling for as little as $10-$14. Micheal Siminovitch, director of the California Lighting and Technology Center says about the new technology, “We’re going to be able to create a variety of control features in terms of how we introduce points of light in space, but we are also going to be able to do it with planes and areas of light. For example, there could be light generating ceilings or walls.” Companies such as Sensity Systems are reimagining lampposts as nodes in a smart network that illuminate spaces, visually monitor them, sense heat and communicate with other nodes and human monitors. All of this promising light research is great because it can contribute to the total wellness of society as a whole and as the article states, “The promise is going to be on well-being, wellness, biology-lighting starts doing something for us that is inherently different.”