How do Sunlight Inside lamps change color?
Our lamps change color (and intensity) continuously with the time of day, just like natural light. The moment-to-moment changes are very subtle but the differences from sunrise to midday to sunset, and then into the evening are profound. Our custom controllers contain an internal clock which knows the time of day, time of year and place on earth (set to your location before they ship) – we use this information to calculate the spectrum of natural light on a moment-by-moment basis. The lamps change color by actively mixing together light from different color LEDs to create different shades of white. In simple terms, the ratio of blue light to red light changes with the time of day.
During the day we emulate daylight by increasing the intensity of the blue LEDs – while maintaining a balanced amount of red (just like natural sunlight). We simulate sunset by reducing the intensity of the blue LEDs and increasing the intensity of the red LEDs. At night we turn off the blue LEDs all together so that you have light which does not disrupt your biorhythms. In this way we mimic the changes which occur in natural light during the day, where natural daylight is blue-rich (and stimulating) during the day, and then the atmosphere filters out the blue light in the evenings to make beautiful warm (and naturally relaxing) sunsets. At night our lamps don’t emit any bio-active blue light, just like fire and candle light!
Do Sunlight Inside lamps provide enough light to read and work by at night?
Yes, Sunlight Inside products are specifically designed to provide plenty of biologically safe (blue-free) light to read and work by in the evenings. Unlike other ‘sleep bulbs’ which provide only dim night-light (200-600 lumens) our products provide 800+ lumens, equivalent to an old-fashioned 60W incandescent bulb which is ‘fully on’. Nightlights are OK for finding the bathroom, but our products are designed to provide plenty of light to get things done in the evening. I use a mySun desk lamp when I need to get work done at night since it provides plenty of light without any bio-active blue, so I can work without disrupting my natural biorhythms.
My wife and I use bottled sunshine lamps on our bedside tables to read books and magazine articles (old-fashioned print) before going to sleep. For those who find they need extra light to read, we recommend the ‘therapy’ versions of our lamps since they provide 50% more light (day and night). Note that all of our lamps come with dimmers so you can manually adjust the intensity of the light to suit your needs.
What kind of bulbs do Sunlight Inside lamps use, and can I replace them?
We use a ‘LED light engine’ for our lamps which is different than a traditional light bulb (see the pictures below). Our ‘LED light engines’ are rated to last >50k hours which is 15-25 years depending upon how much you use the light (5 hours/day X 365 days/year X 25 years = 45.6k hours) = so you should not have to replace them! Our LED light engines are the same light sources used in high-end museums and healthcare facilities and have a good track-record (reliable & long lasting), but we do offer/stock replacements should that be necessary (just two screws to replace).
Do I need to use an App or my smartphone to operate or set-up the lamp?
No, our lamps to work right out of the box (lamps are pre-set to your location before they ship) and our custom controller provides the automatic light cycle – all you have to do is plug in the lamp, and use the dimmer to turn the light on and off (as well as adjust the intensity). The Bluetooth connection is only useful if you want to override the automatic light cycle, you can set the lamp to a specific color by using an App on an Apple/iOS device (we don’t yet support Android).
We intentionally designed our lamps to work without any set-up or smartphone – just plug them in and turn them on like a regular lamp – no need to download another App (unless you want to do something special)!
Can I override the automatic natural light cycle and set the lamp to a particular time-of-day?
Yes, you can turn-off ‘automatic mode’ and use an App (from an Apple/iOS device) to set the lamp to the time-of-day or color you prefer. The lamp will then stay on this fixed color and you can adjust the intensity (manually) with the dimmer (or with the App). I find this useful when preparing to travel to a different time-zone, or when working on a project and I need an extra boost (using stimulating daylight as a ‘bio-hack’).
Our custom controllers include a three-way switch (on the side) which allows you to switch from automatic mode (natural light cycle) to ‘manual mode’ where the lamp will stay at a fixed color. Unfortunately we don’t yet offer an App which works with Andriod phones, so the App is only available for Apple devices. We are preparing to release a ‘travel’ version of our controller which will allow easy manual control over the time-zone setting.
What happens if I move, can I change the light cycle for my new location?
Yes, our custom controllers include a small recessed button (on the side) which you can press to change the internal clock. Just press and hold this button for ~10 seconds at 6pm in your desired time zone, and the lamp will flash five times signaling a reset of the internal clock. Once adjusted/changed the lamp will retain this new setting. Our controllers have an internal back-up battery, so it won’t ‘forget’ your settings even if you leave the lamp unplugged.
You can also use this button to adjust the light cycle to suit your individual preference. I’m an early-bird (rising early and going to bed early), so I set my lamps one hour ahead of pacific time (by pressing the button at 5pm local time).
Net-net = we’ve made it super easy to adjust the light cycle!
Do Sunlight Inside lamps work outside of the US (anywhere in the world)?
Yes, our lamps work anywhere in the world, our power adapters accept 100-240V at 50 or 60Hz. Our lamps run on 24V DC, and the up-front power-adapter (called a wall-wart) we provide is able to convert your local AC current into the 24V the lamp needs. The only piece you may need is a mechanical plug converter if you have outlets which differ from the plugs we ship. We generally ship with either US or EU plugs, but we can provide mechanical adapters if need be (just send us an email when you place your order).
Can I set the lamp to colors other than white (red, green, blue, orange etc)
Yes, you can use the Araya App (from an Apple/iOS device) to select any color in the rainbow, and/or blend colors into white for more subtle effects. When switched to ‘manual mode’ the lamp will then stay on this fixed color and you can adjust the intensity with the dimmer (or with the App). Our LED light engine technology contains all the colors of the rainbow and the Araya App (free) allows you to adjust the saturation and hue of the light to achieve any mix of white or primary colors you have in mind.
Can I turn-off the Bluetooth radio?
Yes/no, we can permanently disable the Bluetooth radio before we ship your lamp but unfortunately, we do not yet have a ‘software switch’ which allows you to turn the internal radio on or off. The Bluetooth radio is NOT needed for regular operation of the lamp since our internal controller automatically provides the cycles of natural light. The Bluetooth connection is only useful if you want to override the automatic light cycle, using an App from an Apple/iOS device (we don’t yet support Android).
Keep in mind that Bluetooth is a low power radio protocol (about 100-1000x less radio energy than a cell phone, and 10-100x less than a wifi connection). Our Bluetooth radios spend most of their time ‘listening’ for commands from a smartphone, so they are not a significant source of EMF.
Are Sunlight Inside products good for plants?
Yes, our lamps are good for plants since they offer a much more natural and balanced spectrum than typical artificial lights (flourescents, LEDs and incandescents). Plants expect balanced natural light which changes with the time of day and time of year. Plants use the spectrum of light differently than humans = the human visual system is most sensitive to green light while plants tend to reflect green light.
Most artificial lights (fluorescent and LED in particular) provide a lot of green light to boost their visual efficiency. Plants are more sensitive to blue and red light – and Sunlight Inside lamps provide plenty blue and red light (more than typical artificial light sources).
That said, our lamps do not provide UV light (since UV light can damage your eyes and skin) or infrared (IR = heat). Some plants need heat to flower (tomatoes, cannabis etc), and others need UV for disinfection and stress (UV makes grapes sweeter). Net-net = our products are a (significant) step-up from regular/artificial light and aid indoor plant growth, but they are not optimized for all plants. Hardcore indoor growers looking to optimize fruits, flowers and vegetables should consider lighting products specifically optimized for horticulture.
Do Sunlight Inside lamps help with Vitamin-D?
The quick answer is no = our lamps are optimized to support human’s circadian rhythms and daily hormone cycles which are synchronized by our eyes registering the daily cycle of natural (visible) light. Vitamin-D is generated is generated in a completely different way = non-visible UV-B light striking exposed skin, and our lamps do not provide UV-B light.
As you probably know, UV light has both benefits (Vitamin-D production etc) and risks (skin/eye damage and increased risk of cancer). We haven’t yet found a way to safely deliver the benefits of UV-B light (while mitigating the risks).
Net-net = our lamps are great for overall health/mood but do not specifically address Vitamin-D production.