Lynn is one of the most gentle and humble people I have met. She helps children with schoolwork and sells Nikken health products on the side. Lucky are the students who are tutored by her!
I have invited Lynn to present some of the products she offers for sale without ever applying any pressure. This month I asked her to showcase full-spectrum lights as they are a significant help in my own life and a good support in this season. It is one of the first things I do in the morning: turn on my full-spectrum light and then do my exercises to music in front of it. It is a fun way to start the day, especially in the dark winter. So take a look at the accompanying inspirational information and consider a light for yourself or as a gift to others.
An important note: we don’t make money on these sales and are hosting this article because we believe in Nikken products — and the integrity of Lynn!
What is full-spectrum light, and why is it important?
In nature, the sun produces energy across the entire spectrum of light wavelengths. Living organisms depend on full-spectrum light to survive and remain healthy. In contrast, artificial light from fluorescent or incandescent bulbs emits light waves only in an incomplete and unbalanced portion of this spectrum.
We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, and there is some scientific evidence suggesting that insufficient natural light can negatively affect mood, brain activity and ability, and the normal sleeping and waking cycle. A simple solution for this is to reproduce the benefits of sunlight in our environment.
What does the Kenko Light do?
The Nikken Kenko Light can offer the advantages of natural sunlight without the drawbacks. Its illumination — which is fully adjustable for brightness — features a broad range of wavelengths similar to sunlight. Using a Kenko Light is like bringing natural daylight into your indoor environment. It can help support natural sleep and waking cycles, better mood, daytime alertness and concentration.
But unlike the sun, Kenko Light does not emit UV radiation. Ultraviolet rays and too much sunlight lead to skin aging, premature wrinkling and are the leading cause of skin cancer. Because it is UV-free, Kenko Light does not present this risk.
Can I use the Kenko Light at any time? How much exposure is recommended?
Based on some scientific studies, full-spectrum illumination is helpful at almost any time. In the morning, full-spectrum light is believed to help in supporting regular day/night sleep patterns and learning ability in adolescents. Other studies indicate that exposure to this light in the evening helps support the natural sleep-wake cycle in older adults.
Some full-spectrum light fixtures on the market include ultraviolet wavelength emissions. As ultraviolet radiation is harmful in extended exposure, those lights can be used safely for only short periods — too short to receive the full benefits of full-spectrum light.
The Kenko Light can be used at any time, for as long as desired. It can take the place of conventional lighting as a room or desk lamp. There is no minimum or maximum time period.
Why does Kenko Light produce a high level of light in the blue area of the spectrum?
The studies that correlated full-spectrum light with support of the natural sleep cycle, suggested that wavelengths in the blue range of the visible spectrum contributed to this effect. Kenko Light technology slightly increases the amount of blue light, but the overall distribution of light waves remains balanced and generally matches the wavelength profile of natural sunlight.
What about Seasonal Affective Disorder — is the Kenko Light recommended for treating that?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has been identified as a depressive condition caused by a deficiency of sunlight. The symptoms of SAD have been found to increase during winter but changes in mood or alertness related to lack of sunlight can occur at any time of year.
Some professionals recommend full-spectrum lighting as a means of dealing with SAD. However, in keeping with the company’s established guidelines Nikken does not represent Kenko Light as a treatment for SAD or any other disorder.
Why is the LED technology in the Kenko Light better than older systems — fluorescent and incandescent bulbs?
There are several features of LEDs that make them superior for lighting. One is that ordinary lighting operates at frequencies that create a flickering effect. It is not always noticed but this flicker can cause eyestrain and a feeling of fatigue. The LED array in Kenko Light produces a constant stream of steady, soothing illumination.
Another reason for the LED technology in the Kenko Light is its energy efficiency. The Kenko Light consumes less than 30% of the electrical power used to operate a single 40-watt incandescent bulb.
The Kenko Light is also more environmentally friendly in that its LED arrray does not contain hazardous contaminants such as the heavy metals that are present in fluorescent tubes, for example.
Who can benefit from full spectrum lighting?
In the workplace, full spectrum lighting can improve employee morale, increase productivity, reduce errors and help decrease absenteeism. In the school classrooms, full spectrum lighting can improve attention spans, improve retention, improve energy and improve mood.
My students with ADHD like the light because it doesn’t “hum or flicker”. They don’t get as tired and they can accomplish more with greater accuracy. Students who have difficulty reading black print on white background and have notes copied on coloured paper, no longer need that accommodation. As their tutor, I do not get as tired and even have the energy to do other things after having taught four or five sessions. I don’t have to take an afternoon nap and I am not pinching myself to keep awake. I am able to thoroughly enjoy working with my students.
KenkoLight Full Spectrum Desk Lamp $219
($187 for readers of Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre newletter)