Move over wonder drugs. Make way for wonder lights.
That could be the tag line for start-up lighting company Sunn, which is launching an app that commands its and others' LED smart lamps to mimic the 24-hour light cycle from the sun and moon – an act that delivers invaluable holistic health benefits judging by the fresh-faced users in a video on the Sunn website.
'Imagine if your lights told time through subtle changes in color and brightness,' note the subtitles in the video from the Los Angeles-based company. 'Imagine if your lights put you in touch with the rhythm of the sun to help ease your transition into the day to promote alertness while you work and help you shine through the winter blues. Imagine if your lights brought the sunset into your space glowing warm at night to help you relax. Imagine if your lights helped you wind down for bed. Imagine if the moon was there to guide your way late at night.'
Well, you are going to have to imagine, because while the app works with wall- or ceiling-mounted plate-shaped lamps from Sunn, those products are not yet available. (The app also works with Philips' Hue LED bulb and with the smart LIFX LED lamp).
Sunn's website gives consumers a chance to 'pre-order', which fits with the company's grassroots spirit. Sunn on December 20th closed a successful 29-day 'crowdfunding' campaign on the website Kickstarter, easily exceeding its $50,000 goal by landing $117,106. (For any of you who might have just arrived from Cro-Magnon days, crowdfunding is an internet process in which funders donate money to a company).
'We've completed production-quality versions of both Sunn lights,' Sunn says on Kickstarter. 'This means we've sourced and completed tooling for many of the large components which is typically the largest hurdle in bringing a product to market. We’ve also completed the first version of the iOS app as well as the cloud-based backend that will support the Sunn app on iOS, Android and web platforms.'
Sunn, which also has offices in Chicago, New York, Poland and Denmark, says it has lined up a manufacturer with operations in Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.
So, what exactly does this sun and moon show do for us?
'Sunn lights provide dynamic, healthy lighting experiences,' its Kickstarter site notes.
As Wired magazine reported, Sunn can help combat depression that afflicts people in northern climes in the dark of winter, a condition otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
While white light lamps already exist to target SAD sufferers, Wired noted that Sunn's lamp marks a kindler and gentler approach that subtly copies the sun's ebb and flow rather than blasting a person for half an hour with intense light. Users in, say, Iceland can adjust the Sunn lamp to cast shifting 'sunlight' indoors all day in a manner akin to, say, Bali, the article said.
Sunn's app can: brighten a light gradually in the morning as an alarm; sync the light to match the outdoor sun; match the sun at a desired time or location; wind down the lighting at bedtime; provide moon glow.
We're all still in the dawn of understanding the myths and realities of modern lighting's potential health benefits. It's good to know that companies like Sunn are rising to help figure it out.
Photo is screen shot from the Sunn video