”We bring the natural light indoors, and trigger the hormonal effects.”
NICLAS M OLSSON
CEO of Brainlit, on the benefits of daylight
November 23, 2020
Why is light so important?
— Daylight is important for our health, wellbeing, and sleep. You need about six to eight hours of natural light per day, and most people get less.
And you wanna help with that?
— We are solving a very simple problem. Humankind is not designed to spend all of its time indoors. There is a clear correlation between our time indoors, which basically started with the industrial revolution, and illnesses like diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular deceases. And all projections point to the fact that we will spend even more time indoors. The core of our technology is to bring the natural light indoors, and trigger the natural hormonal effects.
Ok, so how does it work?
— Studies have shown that we humans are spread into different chronotypes, which basically is a description of our sleep-wake rhythm, called the circadian rhythm. Some people are alert in the morning, some at night. Nine per cent of us are actually extremely early or extremely late and would either feel best going to bed at 19:00 or after 01:00.
— Yes. The uniqueness of our technology is that it detects what kind of chronotype you are, and it adjusts the light accordingly. We have a light system that’s based on two things. One is the luminar, the lamp, which produces an unprecedented quality of Biocentric lighting. Then we have an AI-based control system that integrates with sensors in the room and on your body, and adapts the light recipes.
How is life improved with this technology?
— Light is the biggest impact factor on our biological performance. And the easiest marker to measure if we’re living a healthy life or not is the quality of our sleep. Thats when our brain is defragmenting, when we process memories, and execute analytical problems. High quality light makes us sleep better.
— Most people say that they sleep so well during vacation because they feel so relaxed. The truth is its probably because they spend more time outdoors. They golf, go skiing, hiking, hang out at the beach.
Why aren’t we talking more about this?
— The science around the light impact on us humans is fairly new. In 2017, U.S. scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for their work uncovering the mechanisms behind the circadian rhythm. In 2014, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a group of Japanese scientists for their findings on how to make pure white light with blue LEDs. It wasn’t until 2002, that scientist discovered the ipRGC cells in the eye. Many architects and light consultants were educated before this, which means we’re basing our environments on old science.
What other practical benefits are there?
— Since our light is close to natural sunlight in the way it projects colours, it can have huge benefits in fashion and entertainment. A majority of all the returns in fashion retail is because people feel that the colour was wrong, for example. We recently retrofitted the SOS Alarm office, which is located 32 metres below ground in Stockholm. That’s extreme but most work places actually have lighting as if they were situated below ground.
Tell us about the new product, BrainLit Alven?
— We saw the need to make the Biocentric lighting more mobile. It’s a freestanding solution where we compressed the technology and sensors into a floor lamp. We see huge potential in places where you need to perform, like the office, home office, or in health care facilities. We think it’s going to be a game-changer.