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Light Idea: Getting More From Our Lamps


Light Idea: Getting More From Our Lamps

By Tyler Nulty

As Brick Tamland from Anchorman said, “I love Lamp.” When asked again if he was saying this just because he saw it, or if he really did love Lamp, Brick replied, “I love Lamp. I love Lamp.” This state of mind is one that is tied deeply into all of our consciousness’. Brick is merely a fictional character in a Hollywood movie regardless. We as humans have a natural pattern called the Circadian Rhythm. I am here to give my opinion on why you might love Lamp, what Lamps can do for you, and a few other interesting tidbits about how a simple Lamp can be the difference between a good day and a great day.

This Desk Lamp uses a small solar panel and Light Emitting Diode to produce Light.
This Desk Lamp uses a small solar panel and Light Emitting Diode to produce Light.

The Circadian Rhythm is a biological process measured within a 24 hour time span. It is one of those things that can make You, You. Its also what can make you that intense all night gamer and sometimes the person who sleeps all morning. It has been observed in Plants, Animals, and Bacteria. It is what our body follows on a day to day basis, its what wakes us up in the morning (If not your mother or significant other). If we are out of this rhythm it is what makes us stay up all night playing computer games or doing other equally exciting things on our PC’s.

Back to the title subject, Lamps. It is likely the room or office you are in contains at least one Lamp. Dictionary.com defines a Lamp as, “any of various devices furnishing artificial light, as by electricity or gas.” I will count how many Lamps are turned on in my home office now. It is just about 3 pm as I am writing this article. Computer screen, that is a Lamp. The stereo amplifier has a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) which is also another form of a Lamp. So 2 Lamps are turned on in my home office at this time of the day. Once night time comes around it is almost inevitable that at least one more Lamp will turn on in my home office.

An Example of a Solar Powered Desk Lamp with Flexible neck.
An Example of a Solar Powered Desk Lamp with Flexible neck.

Focusing on the correlation of Lamps and the Circadian Rhythm you might notice that we as humans change our natural Circadian Rhythm on a daily basis. This is done by being subjected to various Lamps over a span of 24 hours. This can have a dramatic affect on many facets of life. Such as mood, health, attention span, and more.

The most natural form of Circadian Rhythm is dictated by the rising and setting of the sun. The largest and most well known source of light most of us know about. Light has many different properties. One important property is Color Temperature. Color Temperature is a rating measuring how our eyes perceive the color of light. It is measured in Kelvin. Another property is Lumens, a measurement of how strong an amount of light is.

LED bulbs can change Color Temperature and provide different amounts of Lumens.
LED bulbs can change Color Temperature and provide different amounts of Lumens.

Now lets just say for the sake of simplicity the sun puts out 500 Lumens at a Color Temperature of 4300 Kelvin. This amount and strength is fairly continuous throughout roughly 12 hours of the day when the sun is present. Then night will come and the moon will provide significantly less Lumens than the sun, lets say 2 Lumens. The Color Temperature also changes when the moon comes around, lets say to around 9000 Kelvin. Now, that was a technical representation of the a natural Circadian Rhythm. Remember, all Plants, Animals, and Bacteria Roughly follow this same rhythm, just like us.

Without getting too complicated I would like to explain how being exposed to additional Lamps during different periods of the Circadian Rhythm can have strange effects. A noted affect can be if you expose yourself to Lamps during the night for extended periods of time your Circadian Rhythm can become unnatural. This can lead to sleeping during the day and other sleep related problems.

This small Infrared remote can control an LED bulb's color and luminosity.
This small Infrared remote can control an LED bulb’s color and luminosity.

When thinking about Lamps, we might not think of how they can help us through the day, or even night. If we think more of what they can do for us then we could possibly enjoy more days and nights. When thinking about Lamps, try considering Color Temperature and Lumens. Those properties can be adjusted to suit different people, places and settings. New technologies are emerging in the market now, such as LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs and color changing LED bulbs. These new technologies not only use less energy, but they can also provide many different properties of light. Next time you are looking at your computer screen, think about the effects of Lamps.


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