However, we shouldn't mess with light levels like these (or even somewhat lower ones) without some limits, and the main one is some automatic timing to turn things down after it gets too late. Otherwise you will find yourself staying at work later and later each day, and it's no accident.
Our clocks don't work that well with more than about a 14-15 hour photoperiod ("day"), so spending 18 hours under 5000 lux will screw up your overall rhythms, making your internal day longer than 24 hours and reducing your sleep. This is considerably worse if you're a natural night owl - it will make you later, faster.
The myth of electric lighting is that we can live in a permanent summer and turn the wintertime into summer, but there are important seasonal questions that we should think about too. For instance, cancer progresses much faster in summer than in winter [edit: cancer progresses much faster in constant light: winter vs. summer is complicated], and the winter schedule even engages a different part of the central clock in your brain than the summer schedule does. There are some important things going on here, which we've mostly tried to remove from our environments.
Knowing how the body works and having the capability to change it really do need to evolve in parallel - I think there is way more capability than knowledge right now.
> Environmental light synchronizes the primary mammalian biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, as well as many peripheral clocks in tissues and cells, to the solar 24-hour day. Light is the strongest synchronizing agent (zeitgeber) for the circadian system, and therefore keeps most biological and psychological rhythms internally synchronized, which is important for optimum function. Circadian sleep-wake disruptions and chronic circadian misalignment, as often observed in psychiatric and neurodegenerative illness, can be treated with light therapy. The beneficial effect on circadian synchronization, sleep quality, mood, and cognitive performance depends on timing, intensity, and spectral composition of light exposure. Tailoring and optimizing indoor lighting conditions may be an approach to improve wellbeing, alertness, and cognitive performance and, in the long term, producing health benefits.
There are 61 foot notes in the above paper, so that should help you get starting going down this rabbit hole. :)
I live in Norway. While I'm below the Arctic circle, summer nights are bright. I don't need outdoor lighting to read as the sun goes juuuust below the horizon. This time of year, days are short and the light intensity never really gets all that bright. I don't have issues with any of it - and I'm an immigrant.
We thought back then that some form of "smart lighting" would be universal. This mostly hasn't happened, so the truth is that the opportunity is different than we had guessed. Today most "smart" replacement lamps are $20+, similar to several years ago, even though normal lamps are $1.
We do support a lot of integrations with f.lux on Windows, so people can use f.lux with their Hue/LIFX/yeelight/etc., but it is somewhere <2% of our users right now.
I have given the issue some thought as well. f.lux integration with Hue is great, but unfortunately not a solution for me, as I'd have to keep my windows pc running all day.
What is hard about these?
For a few dollars I can convert 120v to whatever I want.
Sell a different version to Europe
A solid driver with good filtering and good thermal characteristics is expensive. So you're left with a $15 LED bulb that sits on a shelf next to $5 bulbs, selling to customers who see nothing other than two LED bulbs where one is grossly overpriced for no reason they can comprehend
The fact that this hardware runs at 120v (or 240v in my case) makes it the barrier higher as there's now a chance that making mistakes might kill me.
Additionally, the high power levels mean that adequate cooling is needed, and as a non-expert it's hard for me to know whether I've done that correctly.
Any chance we will see a non-root flux for Android?
Btw, if you don't insist on using f.lux and have root access, take a look at cf.lumen: It allows much more precise configuration (I have it remove almost all blue in sleep mode).
During the day time all my bulbs are at 6000K and 100% brightness, at 6pm the bulbs in my bedroom/office dip to around 4500K and 50% brightness, and at 8pm to 2700K and minimum brightness (we have a toddler).
In my kitchen/living room during the day it's the same, at 8pm to 4500K at 50% brightness and at 11:30pm to 4500K at minimum brightness.
I considered having the schedule run on when the sun sets, but in my location that is 10pm in the summer and 4pm in the winter so it doesn't really work at the extremes (I have the same complaint with tooks like f.lux as well :D).
I've been looking for a hardware solution to this problem so long.
I would kill to have like a programmable dimmer knob that can progressively adjust both temperature and power set to a fixed temperature and power at start (ie: 3750k at 100%) and finish (ie: 2500k at 10%) positions then it auto-calculates the right spot in-between.
Does anyone know if I could do this on a Pi?
I wanted the lights to know what temperature and brightness to turn on to based on a schedule, but there wasn't a way for them to pull the desired state upon power-on; instead I'd have to detect power on and push a state change to the desired color temp. This meant they'd turn on at whatever last state they had on power-off, and a few seconds later (or frequently much slower) adjust to scheduled color temp.
This may have worked better had I used smart switches to turn lights on/off rather than wall switches that cut power to the bulbs, but I also had issues with the smart hub losing connection to bulbs occasionally, HA not reliably seeing power-on events for the bulbs, and HA losing connection to the hub. (Bulbs/hub were Ikea tradfri; perhaps other manufacturers' products are more reliable).
This was a couple years ago; I haven't looked into it much since - maybe it would be easier to do now.
I strongly agree that it's important to change light levels throughout the day; it's very obvious that bulbs this bright suppress my sleepiness. I should probably add this to the post's FAQ so that people don't do anything irresponsible.
I do think that some people might get a mistaken impression of how strong the evidence is when you claim that "cancer progresses much faster in constant light" without citing or caveating that this is based on one study, in rats, where the treatment shone a light on them for a full 24 hours.
Regarding only natural light, what would be the ideal latitude region for psychology year-round?
At 30°N and 30°S days swing between 10 hours to 14 hours through a year. Would it be ideal to live in between 30°N and 30°S, or would you expand/shrink the range?
ps. Any resources on geography-psychology relationships would be appreciated.
In some cases, availability of natural light (due to tree cover, weather, and position in timezone) is as important as latitude.
I would guess that some people are simply better at living at more extreme latitudes or with a weaker circadian signal. Several researchers have tried to use particular genetic markers to explain this, but I don't know a specific one that explains all of it.
This sounds fascinating. Do you have a source?
Btw, I love f.lux and have been using it since probably like 2010, possibly earlier. Its basically the first thing I install on any computer.
But as I'm refreshing my memory, winter can cut both ways. For some, it makes more darkness and more melatonin (which is thought to be protective of cancer). For others, winter results in not seeing enough light, and so melatonin amplitude goes down. And so this is associated with increased cancer.
A couple things: I don't think you necessarily need more light in the morning if you have a well-defined (artificial or real) sunset, and if you've reduced light at night to a lower level.
We add light to the morning so that we can add as much light as we want at night - the two cancel out. But I think it would be better to really try to design the evening to look different than the workday. Lights should change, and they mostly don't.
There are for sure some people with long internal clocks (DSPD/N24) who need very custom lighting schedules to have a normal schedule, but I think if we make the overall signal stronger (more day to night contrast), a lot of the differences between night owls and early birds would become smaller.
Can you elaborate ? 20k lumens doesn't seem like that much ...
I see residential interior decorating guidelines at about 20 lumens per square foot for non-intense areas like living rooms, etc., which implies a 1000 sf office (smallish) conservatively lit with 20k lumens.
I just put 11k lumens of background lighting in a 400sf living room and I am worried it's a bit under-lit, given 12 foot ceilings.
I think that perhaps you are talking about something different than I think you are ?
 As opposed to kitchens where I see 50-80 lumens per square foot recommended...
Can you point me to a reference for this? This pattern is surprising and I would like to learn more about this.
This particular claim was a hypothesis from Richard Stevens, with some experimental work that shows rapid cancer growth under constant light (in human tumors implanted in mice) by Blask (2002, 2005): http://www.nel.edu/userfiles/articlesnew/NEL230802A03.pdf
The main mechanism in the Blask work is thought to be suppression of melatonin.
However to tie it to the article : do you know of the variability between individuals of lighting effect on morale ? I know a lot of people getting depressed when winter comes, but it has 0 effect on me
(I've been meaning to try them out but haven't done so yet, so I can't vouch for the quality in detail. Their stuff is usually solidly mid-range and very good value for money, though.)
In the old Aschoff "bunker" studies where people allowed to keep the lights on as long as they wished, they concluded the human clock was 25.1 hours. We know this isn't true if you provide a proper light-dark cycle, it's much closer to 24. But I treat this old work as a cautionary tale - we can be 25.1 hour animals if we leave the lights on all the time.
When I've traveled there with foreigners who grew up at more southern latitudes with year-round "normal" day/night cycles I've sometimes had to tape black trash bags to the bedroom windows for their benefit.
What do the locals do? We simply get used to sleeping in daylight. One way of doing that is getting used to sleeping on your back with one of your arms across across your face and over your eyes (such that your elbow is between your eyes/on your forehead and the back of your palm touches or is near the opposite shoulder).
I still sleep like that out of habit at more southern latitudes out of habit, and a quick poll among some fellow Icelandic expats where I live when this came up the other day revealed that they do too.
Of course, the problem with this is that I'm totally spoiled and when I travel abroad (1), I can almost never sleep well. Hotel rooms in most countries have blackout curtains but if you're used to Spanish blinds, even those let a lot of light in from the edges. And don't get me started about LEDs...
(1) PS: Now that I come to think of it, I don't sleep well when I travel within Spain either... curiously, people's homes have blinds but hotels typically don't.
Those are only incidentally to block out light, they're mainly for thermal management. You put them down in the middle of the day to keep hot air and direct sunlight out.
A system like that is completely unsuitable in places that get snow. If you installed it on a house in Iceland it would at best freeze solid, and more likely explode as snow slush made it into the joints and froze solid. You don't even need to go outside of Spain to see that, go up to Monachil in Granada and see that no house in the area uses that system.
Of course you could install blinds like that behind double-glazed glass, but at that point you can just buy normal blackout curtains. Since you don't need it for thermal management (any amount of external heat making into the house being a luxury) there's no point in installing it on every window in the house.
So then for practical purposes you're left with only installing blackout curtains in the bedroom, but if you live that far north you're going to need to just get used to sleeping in the light anyway. What are you going to do if you go on a camping trip where you sleep in a tent and forget your blackout eye mask, just not sleep?
In most of Spain they are installed outside of the window glass, but in the north they are installed inside, so they are protected from cold and wind. As in this picture, for example (just found at random): https://www.inmoatuel.com/piso-exterior-de-90m2-reformado-a-...
But they still seal the window hole perfectly so they block light much better than blackout curtains. I suppose the problem with Monachil is that it's a cold place, but within Andalucía which is generally warm, so they don't have a tradition in the area of installing blinds inside as is the case, for example, in Galicia, where you can definitely see them even at high altitudes where snow is common.
When I go on a camping trip... indeed I just don't sleep well, I'm afraid :)
I didn't mean to suggest they weren't also used to let light in. I've spent a lot of time in houses that have these installed, letting light throughout the day while keeping the house relatively cool is a constant balancing act. I meant that without the need for the thermal management you'd go for other sorts of systems, such as internal blinds.
I.e. I'd expect that in places like A Coruña you'd use these for thermal management in the summer with the outer windows open, whereas in Iceland there's maybe 1-3 days of the year where the outside temperature is anywhere near the inside temperature.
> they concluded the human clock was 25.1 hours
You keep quoting questionable or out dated research, the 25 hours figure seems to be wrong 
> Early research into circadian rhythms suggested that most people preferred a day closer to 25 hours when isolated from external stimuli like daylight and timekeeping. However, this research was faulty because it failed to shield the participants from artificial light
Even with that, I've noticed some pretty big productivity swings based on the season. Interestingly, this hit me very hard in moving from where I'm from (southern Texas) to Michigan (for college) and then to Berlin (for the last 14 years). Right now, in Berlin, which is approximately as far north as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, North America's northernmost large city, the sun sets before 4:00 p.m.
I usually try to spend a month of winter closer to the equator to keep my productivity levels and spirits up.
Between the seasonal adjustment (where the sunset time swings by a full 7 hours in Berlin) and my sleep weirdo-ness, I've also come to love me some artificial-sun-level lighting.
I tend towards 400-500 watt halogen bulbs. I have an up-firing light of approximately that wattage in every room of my home.
A question for other folks that compensate sunlight with artificial lighting:
Do LEDs really work for you? I'm a wanna-be hippie, and I'd love to use energy efficient bulbs and have tried every generation of them, but the light just doesn't do it for me. I keep going back to halogen as the sweet-spot between black-body radiation and energy efficiency. I can immediately spot the difference between an LED or CFL and incandescent bulb. I've had some success in mixing them in about 50/50 ratios. They've already been banned for sale in the EU, but I have a stockpile that will last me a decade in a pinch. Does anyone else struggle with the light quality from modern lighting?
The specific bulbs you linked to have a crazy high lumen rating, which appeals to me despite their high price.
I have noticed that name brand (and pricier) LEDs tend to do better for me. Some of the ones from e.g. Phillips and Osram put out a different quality of light (though it's still not up there with incandescents for me).
Looks like the lowest cost might be the 100W COB LED ... It would need a bunch of supporting equipment but it might be possible to do it for around $2 per watt.
Edit: I guess the normal bulbs and the led tubes could also come in around $2/watt and they can take mains power so that might be an easier but physically larger route.
What worked reasonably well for me, was getting a normal DC power supply and a few LED strips (with fairly dense and higher power LEDs) and installed that in a room. That light feels pretty satisfying to me.
All that being said, I don't like anything even remotely close to daylight level ambience when I am working on a computer screen; the custom lighting I set up is for other living areas.
This is a disorder now? I thought that's just how humans worked. It's how I work, anyway - if nothing else (like work, or children waking up at 5:30am) forces me to get up at a set time, I'll slowly cycle through until I'm going to bed at sun-up and waking up at 3pm.
Once for a couple of weeks I worked and slept as I felt like it. I ended up doing ~30h days. It was the best I’ve ever felt while being quite productive.
Unfortunately it’s not an option to do that long term.
(IE; Sweden->Los Angeles, the inverse is harder but not as hard as most people seem to have it, it knocks some colleagues out for an entire week)
When I started living on my own and I was free to choose my own schedule, I decided to stop "forcing" myself onto a schedule that my body didn't agree with and instead let my sleep schedule naturally align with my circadian rhythms. It took about a month to get adjusted, but I remember waking up one morning and feeling like I had got my first full night's sleep in my entire life - it was an amazing feeling!
Since then I've been living on a ~ 24h 50m sleep cycle and I sleep like a baby (8 - 9 hrs) every night. Interestingly enough, I've discovered that I'm actually a morning person, when I used to think I was a night owl. I'm very grateful that I have the freedom to choose my own schedule (I'm a remote-only contractor), I dread ever having to go back to a 24h sleep cycle.
I haven't noticed much change in how I feel with seasons (I live in southern Ontario, Canada), but there's a big difference in my energy level depending on how much light I get in the morning (my mornings, not Earth mornings). If I don't get a good amount of bright light in the morning I feel sluggish and tired all day, regardless of how much sleep I got. If the sun's up when I wake up, I go for a run or walk every morning; otherwise I have about five 10,000 lux LED lights around my apartment that I turn on all morning (I have two right next to my desk in my peripheral vision, just like the person in the article). The LEDs are pretty weak, but they're enough if they're a few feet away from me. I start turning off all the lights and closing all the blinds in my apartment about 4 hours before bed or else it'll keep me up.
I would be very interested in reading more research about the cause of Non-24 Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder in sighted people; as far as I'm aware there's very little research on the matter. I didn't even know it existed until last year, I expect some more research and awareness could be very helpful to people in the same boat.
I'm currently waking up around 2am local time. In two weeks, I'll be waking up around noon.
If I lived on Mars, where the day length is 24h 37m, I would feel right at home (aside from the lack of breathable air).
I tend to start sleep later and later until I reach some dynamic equilibrium between sleep deprivation due to fixed wake up times and the tendency to delay sleep onset.
The way I calculated the length of my circadian rhythm cycle wasn't by tracking the duration of my sleep, it was by tracking the exact time I naturally woke up every day. I then calculated the difference in the time I woke up each day (the daily "drift" in my sleep cycle). The median of those "drift" values turned out to be around 50 minutes, which means my sleep cycle is 24h 50m on average.
It might seem like not using an alarm clock would bias those measurements, but that's actually not the case. Even assuming the fact that I don't use an alarm clock makes me sleep in (it doesn't, but for the sake of argument), that would only effect the average time that I wake up every day, not the average drift in my sleep cycle. There are a number of other biases that would have to be accounted for if this was an actual study, but for my purposes that's accurate enough.
In reality, everybody has a different natural circadian rhythm cycle. If that cycle is close enough to 24h, then you'll have a "normal" sleep cycle. If it's long enough to cause insomnia / delayed sleep onset but your body can still "compensate" (that "compensation" mechanism is called entrainment in chronobiology), then that's called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (I'm not a doctor, but that sounds like what you're describing). If your natural circadian rhythm cycle is so long that your body isn't capable of "compensating" to a 24h cycle, then that's called Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is far more common than Non-24.
As for this point:
> I have to get up using alarms at times that are not related to how my body is feeling about waking up, so I don't see how tracking that would help.
I'm afraid tracking it didn't really help me at all - I simply tracked it because I was curious. My "solution" was simply to let my body do it's thing, but that's not an option for most people who have fixed work schedules or other commitments every day.
The yellower are similar to a mid summer day and I can cope with them, but there's always this feeling of something being off. I guess it's connected to us humans being used to non-sun light being (similar to) a fire - mainly consisting of yellow/orange tones.
Also, I don't exactly remember from where I read this, but when a (town) changed the street lights to LED's, a lot of people started having sleep problems, and it supposedly was connected to the blue light emmiting properties of (lower quality?) LEDs.
I'm really interested in the why. Most people don't seem to care. My in-laws have CFLs in their living room that just feel horrible to me, but they're none the wiser. I'm very curious as to what it is in the light spectrum that seems to matter to some (small) class of people, myself, and it sounds like you, included.
The word for "fire-like" light, used in my original comment, is "black-body radiation". Stars, fire and incandescent bulbs put out a similarly shaped spectrum.
A few years ago there were scientists working on a black-body (i.e. incandescent) light bulb that reflected infrared emission back to heat the filament and re-emit as visible light making for a theoretically efficient incandescent bulb. I check every year or so to see if the research has been commercialized, but have always been disappointed:
Edit: Another point on the blueness of LEDs is that they seem to amplify macular degeneration, which has made my grandmother mostly blind, and I know based on gene sequencing that I have a more than 50% chance of developing. While most of my rejection of LEDs is based on them not looking nice to me, I am also worried about hurrying the onset of blindness in old age for persons like myself who carry the genes for macular degeneration:
Personally, flickering makes me ill. I am used enough to 120Hz to survive it, but any other frequency is bad. Also, the 6400K LEDs look way too blue, much bluer than the Sun. That may be because I have a relatively rare kind of color blindness.
regarding 6400k - even assuming the sun's spectrum matched the black body spectrum of its surface temperature, its surface temperature is closer to 5770k. but even taking that into account, its spectrum doesn't quite match 5770k in space - and the atmosphere changes it even further. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_spectrum_en.svg
I really don't know how much of that change us humans can perceive, but my thinking is that 5000k is probably closer to the center, at least. it might be more of a saturated color, though, since the spectrum is more pointed vs the very flat but spikey spectrum in that plot.
Flame, not entirely; embers, yes.
My first suspicion would be the spectrum of light emitted, which is mostly reflected in the CRI .
CFLs in particular "cheat" by having a couple really strong peaks of very specific wavelengths that to your eyes (or reflecting off a white surface) look like the right color, but when reflecting off anything they have reproduce colors inaccurately -- it's beyond my ability to explain this in detail, but you can see this in some spectrum charts .
LEDs vary greatly in this respect, so if you're concerned, you should really be paying close attention to the CRI (and note, as CRI goes up, so does cost).
I'm a bit miffed it seems so hard to find lights that don't have this problem, though. maybe we can improve it by getting the word out that these cheap little diffraction devices can give you a pretty good approximate reading of the smoothness of the spectrum of a light source. Hmm, I just realized I have yet to take this to home depot...
I'm really curious about those MIT incandescent bulbs. If they worked well and haven't been brought to market, it's possible that contacting the people involved in creating them could have good results in making them happen. Perhaps they could be convinced to prioritize it if a case can be made that it can have a significant positive impact on the world?
Another thing I hate is LEDs with such a sharp point source them make speckle patterns like a laser.
But I did find some good LEDs and I'm using them now, them seem as good as the CFLs they replaced. Had to return a bunch of bad ones though.
I've found that high CRI warm white (2700K) bulbs are the way to go for me.
I have these at home, and I like them a lot: https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Relax-60-Watt-EQ-A19-Soft-White-... . (I bought them at Home Depot, but it looks like they no longer sell them.)
Phones are pretty bad too. Check out the Nexus 5x vs Pixel 3: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1f7-ChF4zFiisFdmEZVEz...
I found that Phillips non dimmable bulbs are the cheap and don't flicker.
I'm currently experimenting with 'emulating outdoors' in my office environment for health and productivity, and so far I've started with an 8,000 lux fanless corn LED (bought off Amazon) hanging from the wall and it's brilliant. I immediately feel 'happier' when I turn it on in the morning, every single time, but after a while, I agree, something feels off. I feel 'cold', temperature-wise.
I have read (no source for now, just from memory) that having bright white light indoors (e.g. fluorescent) without the presence of other light spectrum (including possibly natural UV) can actually increase cortisol.
So I think that more than just visible light is needed to complete the picture. Careful, low enough levels of UV and infrared that doesn't point directly at you but more 'above' you like the sun itself, may be the optimum to get some benefits but not cause dangerous skin or eye problems.
Permies put out an article arguing for incandescent if your goal is light AND warmth: From https://richsoil.com/electric-heat.jsp - "This last one was the most important. A standard incandescent light bulb heats something to the point that it glows white hot. So I used this to heat myself and it doubled as a light source. And, I should point out that in a few months this light bulb will be banned by the US government. It is already banned in many countries. The comedy is that it is being banned to save energy. And yet, I think people can save far more energy by keeping it."
In those cases you could argue the methods he prescribes are more efficient, though not practical for times where you want to heat up a whole room or home.
I've owned it for 5 years and it's clogged only once (it happened in the first week of ownership) then never again.
And one time (in 5 years) I needed to flush it twice.
All of them suck (objectively and subjectively) compared to full spectrum lamps.
> Does anyone else struggle with the light quality from modern lighting?
Besides poor light quality, another issue are dimmable LED lights which are often just PWM'd at a couple hundred Hz. This is a migraine trigger for me.
I did have a normal-ish sleep schedule when I had my job in finance, but I remember feeling exhausted all the time, especially weekday mornings.
I certainly feel healthier now, just sleeping when I'm tired. On occasion this can mean missing a bunch of daylight. Not sure if that's actually all that healthy though...
Before I ran a company (about 1/3 of my career), I mostly managed to hold things down on a "normal" schedule, but I was always tired and frequently had performance reviews where the only complaint was my tardiness.
There are some interesting data points: while camping (which I do a lot of -- several weeks per year), I do tend to sync up with the sun, even though in northern Europe that means waking up before 5:00 a.m. There's also limited screen time. (Though I did work from tent on a remote beach in Crete for a month this year.)
I picked up some melatonin tablets in my wife's home country (where it doesn't require a prescription), and will experiment with that in the near future for I-really-need-to-sleep-now times, but as much as my sleep is weird, it's so intertwined with my personality now that I'm hesitant to medicate it away even given the chance.
They work fine for me, while i'm considering myself sensitive to all sorts of flickering, or "strange" colors.
Don't be afraid of the "professional", they aren't much more expensive, 8 to 9€ per piece instead of something like 4 to 6€ for the others. They make a warm light but are too bright to directly look into, even the candlelike things at only 2 Watts. I bought the first ones out of frustrations with broken CFLs maybe three to four years ago (not a single CFL lasted over a year!), their warmup times, noise, and such, as a test. Now the only other light i have is some flexible/movable Halogen spot light, which i rarely use. Anything else is that stuff from the links. It just works for me, while even saving some energy. So far no defects. Instant on. No noise. No flickering for me. They are commonly available. I got mine at the Bauhaus. Test one or two and see for yourself. Though you won't get a single thing with 500 Watts. They max out at 75W equivalent while using 8Watts. So you'd need many of them.
Presumably you mean the city of Edmonton. Alberta is about twice the size of Germany. ;)
> Do LEDs really work for you?
Mostly, yes. It's easy to buy halogens that all have pretty much the same good quality of light. LEDs you need balance CRI, R9, dimming quality, flickering, etc., but I've found LEDs that work for most of my use cases.
If you want to cheat for convenience, they make red glasses that block all blue and green light which can interrupt your melatonin. You want to find red glasses that have barriers on the side to prevent the light from coming through from the sides. They sell 2 different kinds on Amazon. I found the effect to be very profound. You get tired quickly and when you fall asleep, you feel like you're in a coma and wake up refreshed. Unnatural light after sundown really does interrupt your sleep cycle.
Are those really 400-500 watt or just give light equivalent to 400-500 watts worth of incandescent light bulbs?
That should not happen. There is likely a problem somewhere in the electrical system. We used to have similar problems in our home, hired an electrician to help track it down... they gave our home a clean bill of health, but called the city... long story short, they found a problem in a transformer a couple blocks away from us. It had been impacting many homes, and they were shocked nobody had call it in as a problem before us. But apparently, everyone just thought, "Oh, flickers are normal when appliances kick on, right?"
I have the exact same thing happen here.
Whenever the bathroom heat lamp (well, lamps - 2 x 275W, 240V) turns on, I clearly see the lights in whatever room I'm in dip for maybe 10ms.
This used to happen with the old incandescent lamps from years back, but still happens with the newer CCFL types too. Has never not happened.
Huh. Something to keep in mind, particularly for whenever I'm in an environment with access to competent management/engineering ;) (I just know if I tried bringing it up with the current landlord I'm almost certain I'd be authoritatively told "that's normal"...)
The Phillips flood lights in the track lighting fixture in my kitchen are like this.
They contain some sort of very light-weight power supply to rectify the line voltage and adapt it to the LED, but there is no LC capacity in it to even smooth out the 120 Hz ripple.
There is no room in those bulbs for the electrolytics/inductors that would be required.
I found a better solution is a 1 to 7 bulb splitter with 7 150W equivalent bulbs for a total of about 15000 lumens.
I'd be curious trying a spotlight (something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Primelux-8-inch-14400-Lumens-Driving/...) that is farther away from me.
The parallel rays of a spotlight would probably look and feel more sun like compared to the radial rays of normal bulbs.
They are fantastic. I have several more of the longer fluorescent replacements in my wood shop. More light is magnificently better for energy and productivity in pretty much all environments.
I would still prefer skylights to bulbs, but these are a good solution for dark rooms.
There are a lot of Chinese cheap LED fixtures available on Amazon and no one seems to care about the CRI - it defines how colors appear in your room.
The best lights I have are some warm white LED strips from eBay. I glued them to the top of my workbench (it's a desk under some shelves basically) and it is a joy to work there. I measured them and they are pretty close to daylight in terms of CRI, something like 93 if I recall correctly.
The only thing that makes me unhappy is the current state of LED strip driving. I have a device that takes 120VAC and turns it into 12V for the light strips. It "interprets" the output of a triac dimmer in front of it to PWM the LEDs. Very wasteful and stupid, but there are no constant-current drivers that just let you use something to adjust the current output unless you build your own. (A friend of mine did just that; the lights are amazing.) PWM naturally causes the cheap capacitors in the DC/DC converter to make noise, so I pretty much never dim them.
You could tell it was wrong just by looking. It wasn't a measurement that only appeared by looking at it with expensive equipment; you turned the lights on and instantly though "this is completely unusable". I only measured it to see how bad it was.
There are better measures, but almost no manufacturers use them. I think just having the output spectrum and eyeballing it will do the trick.
That, of course, is apart from the actual being unable to see certain shades of color and the spectrum being skewed one way or the other.
DIY directions on YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JrqH2oOTK4
Do you know of any consumer version for sale? It feels like there should be a product offering with how little changes need to be made to convert a tv or laptop screen
An interesting question is: what average light levels existed in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness for humans, given the types of things our ancestors spent their days doing?
Consider: many humans were savannah persistence-hunters; but many humans were also jungle and arboreal-forest gatherers. And either way, we probably liked to find trees to climb and use as protection, when we could (as chimps do.)
So, given that, are human brains calibrated for "sun-baked African plains" daytime brightness, or "under a forest canopy" daytime brightness, or somewhere in between?
One of my systems may have been a bit over powered and over used, as I developed what a doctor friend later diagnosed as "light induced hypomania", which was quite an experience.
Experiment at your own risk.
I would note that light-therapy lamps for SAD have clear instructions to not sit in front of them for more than an hour-or-so at a time. Your body really does just go on producing more dopamine as long as you're sitting there.
I don't think the author gets a cheeseburger everyday! And even if it is true, it adds on top of the cheeseburger.
So one his coal powered lamp day is already, assuming his other factors are correct, around 5 kg of coal(!) or almost 2 tonnes of coal per year! Which is a huge footprint. Imagine that the same guy would have to just unload that much coal, delivered to his house, once a year, and to feed his lamp every day, would he still consider it "nothing"?
Burning hydrocarbons roughly produces 3 times more CO2 in mass, resulting in 15 kg of CO2 for one of his "lamp days". In volume, it's even more easy to see the size of that all: a kg of CO2 has volume of more than half of cubic meter (0.56 actually), so his lamp day produces more than 8 cubic meters of pure CO2 per day or 3000 cubic meters of pure CO2 per year. Enough to fill 25 European city flats with pure CO2 (otherwise, in atmosphere there's only 0.04% of CO2 -- that's 400 ppm talked about here: https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-the-world-passed-a-carbon... ).
"But the atmosphere is huge" -- yes it is, but still the change of CO2 concentration affects us. There is an experiment that demonstrates the effect with ink:
We don't see CO2 with our eyes, but the molecules of it efficiently block the parts of heat emissions (it is just electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light is) which would cool our part of the atmosphere. So the heat around us increases, just like it's warmer under a blanket (we are practically under always thicker blanket, and we add to it with our actions, just like adding the droplets of ink in that video). Everybody should understand that much.
The moment we can buy eg a 3ft by 1ft panel that we can just mount on a wall and feels like an actual sunlit window for a few thousands dollars or so, interior design is likely going to get radically different.
(And that’s not to mention the sci-fi dream of a screen that can simulate a window looking out on any landscape, but these are probably way further out)
Apparently it uses some nanoscale material that produces (mimics?) Rayleigh scattering.
It's quite ingenious, the aerogel consists of silica nanoparticles with a size distribution smaller than the wavelength of the light, leading to Rayleigh scattering to dominate. The non-uniformity of the aerogel structure is what gives it the more nuanced lighting, it lets a bit of yellow light, a bit of this and that, making a non-monochromatic source that resembles sunlight very well.
For those unfamiliar, the panel simulates Rayleigh scattering to give the appearance of a blue sky, with a simulated sun and close to incandescent color rendering. Too bad the price tag still seems to be in the tens of thousands though.
I conjecture if/when e-ink displays match conventional LCDs in response time and resolution there will be a movement towards “outdoor offices”.
Imagine being able to work productively in a garden, atrium, sun room, or any other natural outdoor environment. Many of the pitfalls of indoor, fluorescent lighting would be diminished. The Bay Area and its relatively fantastic weather would be fully realized as a perk to tech workers.
I built a Linux box with an rpi3 I had lying around and a boox max3 I got. So far working out doors:
+ Insects: you have no idea how many seem to come out of no where just to annoy you.
+ Sun: you need sun screen even on overcast days. I look like an overripe tomato.
+ Rain: when you least expect it one tiny cloud will go past and drop enough rain to soak you and any exposed electronics.
+ Children: loud and obnoxious, seem to be everywhere at any time.
+ Homeless: turns out they really like parks and assume you're one of them if you're there for more than 30 minutes.
There's probably more but those are the things I had to deal with yesterday. Today I just sat on my balcony instead. Sunlight is nice, but there's a reason why people have been building shelters for millennia.
I think you're right. Working outdoors with a laptop is already better than indoors. It'd be easier with e-ink.
This, feels like crutches.
edit: there is something to be said about starting an hour earlier and finishing an hour earlier if the sunset is early. It may be a good idea to live with the natural rhythm of the earth rather than some clock on the wall.
Compare the sunset times with London, Copenhagen, Oslo.
You had 1½ hours more daylight today than Copenhagen.
In the summer, things are much better; 16 hours of daylight. So you really can put yourself on a schedule where the appearance of light wakes you up and its disappearance puts you to sleep.
But it will offset your other heat sources.
If you live alone, you can treat it like a room heater and lower the temperature for the rest of your home.
Since the bulb is radiating heat some degree of heat, you may be able to keep the temperature of the room you’re in lower without feeling cooler.
The fan is a bummer though.
Lots of us have the opposite urge! My theory is that darkness induces a combination of mild-depression and subliminal sort-of-pleasant fear that HELPS us ADD-iacs focus waaaay better especially on tasks like coding and debugging.
PLEASE never use OPs conclusions when designing public spaces, this would kill the productivity of people like me!
That's interesting since I too can only really focus at night or late evening. I knew someone with ADHD and I could see some glimpses of me in their behaviour.
I'm ADHD without the Hyperactive component, subclinical, ADD or (ADHD-PI or Inattentive-ADHD more precisely). Or with the H component purely mental/internal, which kind of sucks because you get the "benefits" of ADHD plus a higher propensity to slide into an unhealthy ultra-sedentary lifestyle.
The ultra-sedentary lifestyle seems very accurate. I make a plan for example study for my CCNA and here I am six month later finally doing it. This is with daily reminders to myself, set alarms, notes, collecting study material etc. not just thinking but some prep.
And when I am in the zone I tend to overdo it often way too much detail. Brevity is not my forté.
Self medicating with caffeine seemed to be working it would help me focus even during the day. But I think it contributed to my fatty liver I never had it before or after my energy drink addiction. Now it's one cup of coffee per day max.
Unfortunately to test CRI you need a $1500 color meter. I'm lucky enough to have one and access to a range of film lights and it's crazy how much CRI varies and the horrendous gaps in the spectrum for some lights.
In principle, it's possible to shield your windows with thick curtains, but I know many people won't bother, some will openly boast them, and it may even lead to more of them being hung outside when people see how great they are.
In that same vein, I've wondered how to simulate outdoor conditions inside, especially something approximating more light, in part because I think a family-member is mildly susceptible to seasonal affective disorder. I can't wait to see what the author has to say.
- a correlation between being outdoors and stood up and moving
- colder temperature (but I guess in the summer when it’s not stifling it can be preferable to be out so maybe this is wrong)
- some psychological/placebo effect
- less CO2 in the air. I can’t really put any numbers to this hypothesis as I don’t have a meter.
(or the studies themselves https://www.gwern.net/docs/co2/2015-stafford.pdf and others)
I.e. I think air quality is likely a big factor. When it's windy and I get good airflow through my room it doesn't feel as different from outside. It's probably not only CO2, but also dust, VOCs, funghi, microorganisms, etc.
I don't think the author is taking into account that a lot of the blue spectrum from sunlight is scattered in the atmosphere resulting in a much 'warmer' light hitting us.
It takes about 250W and gives over 10 lux from 1m.
My current setup are two 100W led reflectors pointed at the white ceiling. Thet give over 200 lux at my desk but are very greenish. It shows up on the camera (with any whitebalance) and is even slightly visible to the naked eye.
New lamp should be significant upgrade in terms of colors and light strength. Total cost is around 50$ because I bought lightbulbs very cheap and used cheapest available sockets, plus few hours of very relaxing work. Reflectors were even cheaper. Just 20$ and hanging them was less than an hour.
Also, it's not clear to me how important the watts/lumens are in a single bulb vs. multiple. If I can only find 100W/6000 lumen bulbs, are three of those the same as one higher wattage bulb with 18000 lumens?
I also experimented with commercial string lights and ended up hanging one strand with around a dozen bulbs over an ikea pyramid coat rack behind a Japanese style paper screen and that made for a bright and beautiful standing lamp.
I also found that having a timer/dimmer was a great way to wake up in the morning. Much better than any alarm, but if you don't sleep alone you need to get your partner on board.
I highly recommend trying a build for yourself!
* dimmable, and can be set up to turn on slowly in the morning
* not glary
* easy to install
* power efficient
>The effect was huge: I became dramatically more productive between 3:30pm and whenever I turned off the light. Instead of having a strong urge to stop working whenever it got dark out, I was able to keep working my normal summer schedule, stopping just before dinner. I estimate the lamp bought me between half an hour and two hours a day, depending on how overcast it was.
Does anyone know if people really do become "dramatically more productive"? It should be something that could be tested...
One big problem for hackers is that very few screens are readable even in 10klux, let alone 100klux direct sunlight (although that has the disadvantage of burning you).
Annoyingly I've still not seen one IRL. They go black and white, apparently, but are still 100% legible.
E-ink displays are even better than the XO, and machines with them are much more easily available, but most of them only come in the surveillance-capitalist hood-welded-shut model. They use orders of magnitude less energy than transflective LCDs for some usage patterns, but refresh slowly.
Not “neoliberal private-public partnership bull crap” but somehow “communist”? Lololol.
A capitalist approach to the problem would have stopped them from failing as completely as they did but also would have eliminated the possibility of the far-reaching transformation of education they were seeking to impose.
1) Concerns about eye damage.
2) Concerns about skin damage.
I do understand the desire to have daylight-level lighting in your house. It's a shame it takes so much power.
I know I will need a setup against S.A.D. because it's very real up there.
If I get 4 of the 120 watt fanless bulbs, the daily cost of the bulbs and running them 8 hrs/day (assuming 30,000 lifespan) would cost only ~$0.29/day. That's an easy choice against SAD.
i wonder if this has similar problems
From https://meaningness.com/metablog/sad-light-lumens : "The clinical studies were done with 10,000 lux provided by a bank of fluorescent tubes in a box that directed most of the light forward. Very roughly, if you are a couple feet from a box like that, 1 lumen produces 1 lux." It'd be interesting to see studies that have these lighting setups but don't involve staring towards them.
The setup that I'm happy enough with: a set of LIFX bulbs in normal light fixtures. They seem to put out more lumens (1100 lumens) than other color-changing led bulbs. If you don't want 'smart' lighting but still want the ability to change color temperature, Philips makes "SceneSwitch" lights (800 lumens) that will cycle color temperature based on turning on/off.
Note that there is a whole snake oil thing going on with blue light these days. Some of what we see about this stuff might be coming out of that particular industry.
If you look at 460-470 nm where the spike is in the LED spectrum, it's much lower in the blue sky spectrum.
I think the concern is something about the relative amounts of blue light. Not sure what exactly but something like, the human perception of brightness and therefore the self protection of the eye is calibrated for natural light, so the pupil contraction, looking away, etc, is not done correctly in with that unnatural distribution. Anyway I don't know if that's a real effect, but that's what people (should) mean when they're talking about "too much blue".