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This Lightbulb Changes Color To Match Your Biological Clock

Blue light is best in the day, and red light will help you sleep at night. Now you don’t have to choose.

Our bodies are highly sensitive to light. During the day, we want a cool, blue light, because it energizes us and keeps us awake. At night, we want a warmer, redder, light that prepares us for sleep. The amount, timing, and type of light we get can even affect our hormone production and genetic expression: Too much blue light at night, for instance, may even raise the risk of disease, some well-known researchers have said.

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All of this is why a company called Saffron came up with the Silk, a light scheduled to change color temperature throughout the day and stay in sync with your biological clock. You set up the light by linking it with a Wi-Fi connection. You can then control it with an app, either going with the preset color changes or your own. In addition, you can also create “nClick” settings where you control you control the bulb using flick-combinations on the wall switch: up-down, up-down-up, etc.

“We like smart lighting where you don’t have to open an app to control everything,” says Greg Petersen, program manager for the product. “You can do it all with the switches.”

Based in Provo, Utah, Saffron is a unit of Sewell Direct, a well-established home entertainment company. It already makes the self-dimming “Drift” light and the “Sense”, which automatically comes on when it gets dark and goes out when it’s light again. Saffron is now on Kickstarter with the Silk, hoping to raise at least $100,000. Petersen says the money will go towards tooling for die-casting, amongst other things. The product is made in China and due to be delivered by January. It costs $99 for three bulbs.

We’ll have to see how it works in practice and for how long (Petersen says each bulb has a 30,000 hour lifespan). But highly-adjustable lightbulbs that take account of our health certainly sound pretty good.

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About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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