Monday, October 17, 2016

San Francisco Muni advertising destabilizing health of population

Have you seen lately the San Francisco Muni trains?
The cars with people are now a moving advertising board.
You may think this is a good economical solution, as Muni
gathers its funds from advertising, without burdening riders
with higher cost of tickets.

However, the Muni advertisings are painted on the cars windows,
blocking access to daylight, and this is a bad decision from Public
Health perspective, that destabilizes the health of San Franciscans.
Let me explain, contrary to the saying "You get what you pay for",
daylight is free to use (when available) and is found by research
that is the 100% healthy package. In other words, having access
to daylight makes you healthier!

All Muni lines have above ground rounds, before entering in the
tunnels guts at about Van Ness. The tunnels run underground
to the Financial district, and after Embarcadero the Muni trains
are back above ground. The rides above ground are crucial!

Riders headed to work who are receiving full exposure
to daylight through the Muni clean cars windows, receive
a boost in alertness that improves their work performance.
And there is more, the receiving of abundant daylight
in the morning hours, regulates the circadian system,
the hormones and endocrine functions in our bodies.
Exposure to daylight while riding the Muni trains,
is crucial in suppressing the sleep hormone melatonin
in the morning hours, which in turn results in timely
melatonin production in the evening hours, resulting
in good quality of night sleep.

In other words, access to daylight while riding Muni
above ground, is crucial for San Franciscans health.

And here it is, SFMTA Muni focusing on the creative
(they thought) acquiring of additional funds, covering
Muni cars windows with advertising, blocking daylight.
In this scheme, human health and human wellbeing
were forgotten and sacrificed.

SFMTA - we need to reverse the process right now, we
need clean cars windows, that stream daylight inside,
and we need to support public health. It is a good idea
to include health experts in every level of decisions,
to make sure that human health is protected in SF.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The American Medical Association issued on June 14, 2016 a warning for LED street lighting. The doctors, in order to protect human health, recommended that LED street lighting should be 3000K, in other words they recommended to "warm it and dim it" when it comes to street LED lights. They also warned that cool LED lights above 3000K are harmful to people in two ways: #1 burning the retina and #2 suppressing melatonin and sleep disruption. See for yourself the link below

For me, it was a sigh of relief to see that medical professionals, always humanitarian, have taken the lead in lighting to protect public health from the potential harmful effects of LED lighting. You would think that the American Medical Association AMA lighting warning, would be received warmly by the Lighting Industry. Instead, Lighting Manufacturers with stock of bluish LED street lights and the Illuminating Engineering Society IES took offense, and even the Department of Energy DOE was reluctant to admit that this warning is timely. The message from the lighting industry to the AMA was to "back-off" and that doctors are not lighting experts, never-mind that doctors care about the health of people. With this rebuke of the doctors, misguided City Planners and local governments will continue to replace street lights with intensely bright and cool bluish LED lights, that are unhealthy and impact negatively our communities.

The AMA warning about LED street lighting is a good start, and it didn't go far enough to encompass the health issue with multi-fringed overlapping blurry shadows, produced by the many LED chips in street lights, pulsating separate light beams and projecting multiple shadows from a single leaf. Under the trees on our streets, we encounter a cognitive mess, a lack of correlation between the physical object (a leaf) and its shadow(s),  a forced disassociation from reality.

You may think of shadows and light as the yin and yen, as the two sides of the same coin, and while it's almost impossible to define light quality by looking at the bright high intensity pole lights, one can look at the shadows and find this information. This is why the three rules in lighting are "mock-up" "mock-up" and "mock-up". Before installing LED lights, first turn them on, then aim LED light to a wall about 2-3 feet away, then insert your hand in between the light and the wall, and look at the shadows on the wall. If you see sharp black shadows and more than five fingers, don't buy this LED fixture.

Light and health for you,


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Health Professionals and Psychologists

To Health Professionals

Light and Public Health are interconnected. 
* We must protect the eyes of young people and older, from the cool 
LED lighting (above 4000K) as it has high content of Blue 440nm 
wavelength light, that produces retinal photo-degradation, and in
the case of older folks macular degeneration. 
* Spectral content of lights can de-regulate the circadian system. 
Recently the AMA American Medical Association issued a warning 
that cool LED lighting (above 3000 Kelvin) can have negative impact
on human health at night. Cool LEDs suppress melatonin or the sleep
hormone, disrupting sleep which generates overeating, obesity, cancer.
* Equally important it is to receive full spectrum bright light (daylight or
reflected from a wall surface) in the morning, for people with SAD or 
Seasonal Affective Disorder and mild depression.

Some health issues from lighting are easier to fix - like glare, or multiple 
(multi-fringed) shadows form a single object, or heavy/black shadows on 
the floor, perceived by Alzheimer and dementia patients as holes that they 
have to jump over...posing risks for safety and falls. These issues are fixed 
with the selection of a lens or shield that softens, disperses, and mixes light.

To Psychologists and Neurologists

With lighting there are more complex health issues. 
* Digital LED lighting can overstimulate the Sympathetic system,
keeping people in a state of continuous arousal without repose to regenerate.
* Too many visual stimuli (too many things lighted) overwhelm the cognitive system,
numbing senses and creating tension.
* Multiple lights/fixtures result in multiple luminous edges that activate ganglion cells 
neural signals, and fire-up continuous neural response. These are unhealthy environments. 
* And I haven't started talking about lighting physics and waves, resulting in turbulent spaces.
* Multiple shadows from a single object, all in different directions at the same time
create loss of spatial orientation and disconnect and disassociation from physical reality,
and from how is it done in Nature, and the natural world.
* Trying to manipulate the Circadian system and creating bio-dynamic cycles, unless subtle,
slow pace, and following closely Nature rhythms; we will create more harm to human health.

We need places for people, that are human, lighted for calm, ego-less simple, nurturing, and 
regenerative environments. Can we do it? Yes, if we are conscious to our purpose to improve 
people's lives, to help humanity stay connected with Nature, and help people breath, focus, 
and self-center with lighting. And help people through peaceful minds to find their internal 
lights to shine, connecting with infinity field which is the true source of healing. 

Or we can continue doing what we have - ego centered lighting and damage people's health, 
we can be unconscious and excited about technology and IoT in lighting, without seeing the 
interconnectedness with human health.  
Awakening to lighting consciousness is different, is helping people to be healthy, is becoming 
excited about consciously applied simplicity and Natural feel in lighting; it is about unified and 
not fragmented, about softness and not harsh environments for people.

Is it possible to "prescribe" healthy lighting to help people stay healthy?
Yes, look no further than the free manual of Nature, where we have light and night repose, 
we have coolness in mid-morning and warmness in evenings, forms have single shadows, 
simple order and calmness pervade, and people have choice to be in light or in shadow. 

If we have to use LEDs lighting, ask yourself -  can I  do the simplest lighting, can I be 
Nature inspired, can I do essence and elevate above form. Think how good this is.

Healthy Days for All, LightHeal

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hi Everyone,
I will take you on a journey for healing with lighting. The journey may take unexpected turns and it will always end with new information on how to stay healthy and how best to protect your health.
So buckle up and be open to improvisation.
For those who like order, guidelines, checklists...we'll have these dispersed
through the series of LightHeal Blogs.

Let's begin - The big bus with tinted glass, pulled along the sidewalk at about 9pm. Keep in mind that melatonin or the human sleep hormone, starts production after 7pm, definitely at 8pm, and picks-up by 9pm. The folks on this bus, had no idea about the process taking place in their bodies. Bowed over their laptops (on the way to home) and illuminated by blue and green LEDs located 10 inches from their eyes.

As the bus glided forward through the intersection, I couldn't help but see a striking parallel, the semi-dark warehouses of acres with green houses, growing plants under controlled lighting. In horticulture for years now, LED lights of precise spectrum (purple-blue-green-red color) have been used to stimulate plants growth, to speed blooming, to obtain gigantic size products that are unseen in Nature. We are putting plants to work extra hard and produce extra big, we trick the plants with controlled light spectrum and intensity. Would these products taste the same as the ones grown in nature and under the sun, would these products have the same nutrients as the ones formed under the natural cycle of light and dark?
Some horticulturists talk about controlling the photons intensity and how many light particles hit the plants leaves (think of human retina and the skin as envelope of the human body) so that plants are not burned.

That night at 9pm, as the bus cautiously glided along, seeing the young faces (could have been my kids) illuminated by laptop screens and the unstoppable presence of blue and green LED laser beams, I felt a squeeze of my heart. Will we use LED technology humanly or manipulatively?

LightHeal token #1: at 9pm - use warm light coming from behind a shade, like a table lamp with warm color shade, do not use lights from the ceiling,  keep the ceiling and upper wall surfaces relatively dark, illuminate surfaces at lower than the eye level, again table lamps is the best if you want to go to sleep