Light therapy

Singapore 14th May 2011

I am not superstitious and the fact that yesterday was Friday the 13th was not the reason I stayed out of blogging, just had a busy day and late night. With a relaxed weekend ahead I now have all the time to write my blog 🙂

A subject that seems to be worlds apart yet very close to our job as lighting designer is light therapy. We focus day in day out on placing our lights in space with the aim to improve the environment we live in, but some people specialise day in day out in the treatment of our human body with light, fighting diseases and rejuvenating our body. I happened to catch a program on TV on light therapy. It basically spoke about how LED technology has made progress in this area with skin treatments focussing on LED lighting rejuvenating the collagen in our body. Collagen is a type of protein, fibrous in nature that is a sort of “glue” in your body connecting and supporting things like the skin, bone, ligaments, muscles, etc. (I googled this…). So it is easy to understand that “healthy” collagen is imperative for a healthy body!

And there is where LED lighting technology is making its entry. By radiating red LED light (apparently in the 630+ nm range) on the body it penetrates the skin to a certain depth and the collagen is regenerated. When applied to the face it apparently does wonders and is sold as a revolutionary anti-aging treatment! The regeneration seems to firm and tighten the skin resulting in a reduction of lines and wrinkles. Not surprising it is popular for facial treatment. While red light seems to rejuvenate collagen, blue light (in the low 420+ nm range) has a photosensitive impact to acne.    

In a broader way, it supports the view that we need to be exposed to the full spectrum daylight daily. Daylight has all these colours and giving your body a daily dose of (full spectrum) daylight can only be good. Designing our lighting environments with maximum daylight and full spectrum artificial lighting has to be one of our key considerations always.   

In Light Watch today some LED light therapy products that you can find in the market. They range from small handheld devices to large scale panels. 
 

Light Watch 90: LED light therapy products

14. May 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light and health, light watch | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Dear Martin,
    we have not corresponded for a while but I find your comments still very intersting to read. They open a window for me and all who are sensible to your world in lighting design, your thougts and considerations.
    Thank you for your work, I hope as much as possible take notice.
    To your theme “light therapy” I would like to open a debate about what´s necessary to work deeper in light therapy as adaily effect light enough daylight.
    I have made researches in internet about this and found a lot of sometimes strange and hard to follow texts and expressions. Since entering the LED business 10 years ago, I am convinced this light source bears more effects than expected looking to it seriously.
    The only binding is the lack of free sientific exploration. Born outside the lighting industry, this technology has been occupied fast by the well known lightsource manufacturers. This has caused a marketing work pushing the public impression to a special view on this technology. Softly, without public notice here comes a complete new bundle of influences to any human being due to the slightly different behavior to our subconcious.
    Do you have any othere sources of information for me, where I can get more information about the interaction of LED Light and Eye/brain/ subconcious awareness?

    We had a meeting at Insta with Joachim Ritter and Prof. Kramer and spoke about the combinations of health and light in January. I am also looking keen forward to the results of the CIE conventions to the new evaluation of LED Light, the measuring and the impacts on our life. Have you noticed the new studies launched by the AFE in France to LED light?
    There they are independant in sience and publicise results which are not in the way of the big light source manufacturers.
    Looking forward to your responce.

  2. Dear Martin,
    we have not corresponded for a while but I find your comments still very intersting to read. They open a window for me and all who are sensible to your world in lighting design, your thougts and considerations.
    Thank you for your work, I hope as much as possible take notice.
    To your theme “light therapy” I would like to open a debate about what´s necessary to work deeper in light therapy as a daily effect light enough daylight.
    I have made researches in internet about this and found a lot of sometimes strange and hard to follow texts and expressions. Since entering the LED business 10 years ago, I am convinced this light source bears more effects than expected looking to it seriously.
    The only binding is the lack of free sientific exploration. Born outside the lighting industry, this technology has been occupied fast by the well known lightsource manufacturers. This has caused a marketing work pushing the public impression to a special view on this technology. Softly, without public notice here comes a complete new bundle of influences to any human being due to the slightly different behavior to our subconcious.
    Do you have any other sources of information for me, where I can get more information about the interaction of LED Light and Eye/brain/ subconcious awareness?

    We had a meeting at Insta with Joachim Ritter and Prof. Kramer and spoke about the combinations of health and light in January. I am also looking keen forward to the results of the CIE conventions to the new evaluation of LED Light, the measuring and the impacts on our life. Have you noticed the new studies launched by the AFE in France to LED light?
    There they are independant in sience and publicise results which are not in the way of the big light source manufacturers.
    Looking forward to your responce.

  3. Dear Thomas, thanks for your continued support to my blog! I suscribe to your thoughts that LED may have much more impact on our life (health?) then we currently know or are aware of. I have the french study report (have yet to finish reading it) which seems to point to quite some negatve effects. It is a subject of great interest and like you I still have much more to research to better understand. For the moment I am guided by simple rules of nature. Humanity was born on this planet without electricity, with only the sun as our natural source of light, so I can only think that exposure to full spectrum lighting in intensity and quality similar to sun/ daylight is what our body needs. As an architectural lighting designer this would be my driving thought. As to publications on LED lighting we have to be very careful as some maybe driven by commercial interests rather than scientific purpose!
    Martin

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