Dr. Mercola has lots of great info. http://products.mercola.com/light-bulbs/?source=nl
This article is from his website – full article in the link above. It’s quite long – just skim it to get the idea that SUN is good, our light bulbs are not, and this new full-spectrum bulb is a good happy medium. Your incandescent light bulbs will be illegal by 2012 so why not start early getting bulbs that are healthier for you and can reduce energy costs by about 70%!!! StudHusband utilized the sun to overcome his health issues a few years ago. Here’s to good health and sunny days!!
Very shortly, you’ll be witness to the actual turning of a page in history. You’ll see something you’ve taken for granted every day of your life, slip slowly into the mist of the past.
I’m talking about the common, run-of-the-mill, everyday light bulb.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill that will literally outlaw the use of old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs.
A recent news release stated that the new law is part of a massive governmental energy-saving program that will completely phase out the use of those energy-gobbling incandescent light bulbs by the year 2014.
That’s right, starting in 2012 it will actually be against the law to use regular incandescent light bulbs.
You might be wondering what on earth the government is up to now – going after a light bulb?
I admit, it does sound pretty radical, but think abut this…
Once the change is in effect, the boost in energy efficiency and savings will be at the very least a whopping 70% overall!
And what does that mean for you?
A 70% decrease in energy use translates into huge savings on your utility bill. Plus, it’s very good for the environment overall.
That’s a win-win for you — and the environment.
So, the first to go will be the 100-watt bulb. And the transition will continue until the last 40-watt bulb is replaced in 2014.
That’s just a little over 5 years!
And the best part yet is…
They probably don’t even know it — but the government is practically making it a law for you to get more of the healing benefits of sunlight into your life.
In moderation, sunlight improves your immunity, prevents disease, increases intelligence, stimulates your metabolism, and boosts your energy level.
Specifically, the full spectrum of the sun’s light rays has been shown in medical and scientific studies to:
Positively influence your risk of getting sick (there is a preponderance of evidence suggesting that decreased sun exposure is closely related to your risk of acquiring the flu, a common occurrence particularly during the colder months).
Lower your blood pressure (in fact, the farther from the equator you live, the higher your blood pressure).
Even help babies sleep better at night (this is great news for you parents out there).
The problem is that getting adequate sunlight isn’t easy these days. Most of us suffer from “sunlight starvation.” We all need about one hour of unfiltered sunshine each day. Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t even come close to receiving that amount.
A new law is set to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, due to concerns about energy costs and greenhouse gases. Yet, light bulb manufacturers admit that typical compact fluorescents are at best a temporary fix, because they contain mercury, emit hazardous EMFs, and few recycling centers accept them.
And of course, you probably spend too much of your time indoors, with poor incandescent or fluorescent lighting, sometimes even without windows. And windows themselves (even eyeglasses) block some of the 1500 wavelengths present in sunshine from reaching your retina and nourishing your brain and body.
Furthermore, your children and grandchildren spend their days in unhealthy, dully-lit classrooms.
Moreover, sunlight-blocking air pollution and haze permeate most metropolitan areas … all year long.
And to add to all this, you may have been brainwashed by prevailing medical “wisdom” into fearing (and avoiding) the sun. Slathering on toxic sunscreen. Wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside. Worrying about deadly melanomas, a skin cancer wrongly blamed on even moderate sun exposure.
As Easy as Screwing in a Light Bulb
You may find it interesting to know that sunlight has an ancient legacy of healing. Prehistoric tribes and entire civilizations revered and worshipped the sun for its healing properties. Using light to treat medical conditions (both physical and mental) came to be known as heliotherapy — thousands of years ago. This was the precursor to the therapeutic use of full spectrum lights.
Herodotus, the “father of heliotherapy”, wrote that exposure to the sun is necessary to help people overcome failing health. In winter, spring and autumn, Herodotus recommended that the patient should permit the rays of the sun to strike full upon him; in summer, this method should be used moderately because of excessive heat.
So why all this fuss over light bulbs anyway, and what the heck is full spectrum lighting? You’ll understand after reading about all the amazing benefits you will get from these one-of-a-kind full spectrum lights.
Enhanced mental awareness, concentration and productivity …
Superior visual clarity and color perception …
Better sleep …
Super-charged immune system …
More energy …
Reduced eye strain and fatigue with a glare-free and comfortable reading environment …
Greater learning ability and intelligence …
Sunlight Starvation Starts in Your Brain
To begin with, when light enters your eyes, it not only goes to your visual centers enabling you to see; it also goes to your brain’s hypothalamus.
Additionally, it controls the body’s master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones. The hypothalamus initiates the body’s stress response, affects our emotions and controls immune functions.
These light-sensitive rhythms are not an invention of modern society. They are biological constructs imposed upon us by Mother Nature.
Consequently, anything that disrupts these rhythms (like inadequate sunlight) has a far-reaching impact on our body’s ability to function.
This explains why, since sunlight has been shown to be the most effective regulator of the body clock, it is also the quickest method of recovering from jet lag. (Or you can supplement sunlight with full spectrum lighting indoors.)
But it gets even more interesting. In 1998, scientists found that they could reset the body clocks of study subjects by shining bright lights onto the back of their knees. This demonstrates that areas of the skin are significantly affected by light, just like the retinas of our eyes. This led researchers to conclude that the body may have more than one body clock, although the eyes still seem to be the main route by which the circadian system senses light.
So why the anatomy lesson?
Well, the body clock control centers in the hypothalamus are also connected to the pineal gland, which is considered the body’s light meter. The pineal gland secretes the important hormone melatonin.
Melatonin, the “hibernation hormone”, increases with decreased light, which explains that tired feeling that comes on when it begins to get dark outside — even if it is only 4 o’clock in the afternoon. And it also explains why decreased melatonin is found in those with insomnia (and why full spectrum light is beneficial for healthy sleep).
Conversely, serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light, and falls with decreased sun exposure. This has been proven by many scientific studies, including one reported in the well-respected medical journal Lancet in 2002. This study measured blood levels of serotonin, finding that production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
This has been proven by many scientific studies, including one reported in the well-respected medical journal Lancet in 2002. This study measured blood levels of serotonin, finding that production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
What’s more, full spectrum lighting has even more benefits…
Improve Your Performance at Work and Home With Full Spectrum Lights
Sadly, antiquated fluorescent lights are still the norm in the average work setting, the place where most Americans spend half their lives. Studies have shown that poor lighting in the workplace triggers headaches, stress, fatigue and strained watery eyes, not to mention inferior work production.
Conversely, companies that have switched to full spectrum lights report improved employee morale, greater productivity, reduced errors and decreased absenteeism.
Naturally, if you own your own business, I would certainly recommend a complete switch to full spectrum lighting throughout the workplace for those reasons noted above. In fact, that’s exactly what I have done in my own office. Now all my employees have the benefit of full spectrum lights for their good health, mood and productivity.
Those who work at home — as well as those who just want the healthiest home environment possible — can enjoy all the benefits of natural balanced sunlight indoors by switching to Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum lights. Better health, better mood, better productivity, and better energy …
By the same token, those who enjoy hobbies such as sewing, drawing, or crafts like scrapbooking will notice a decrease in eye strain (and the tight muscles that go with it) … and find the improvement in color clarity and vibrancy quite obvious while working under natural full spectrum lighting.
Equally important, older individuals generally require more light than those who are younger, just to perform the same tasks comfortably. In fact, one study concluded that workers over age 50 required twice the light level of young adults for comfortable work.
So, it certainly stands to reason that our aging population — especially baby boomers and retirees — have eyes which are seriously challenged by poor lighting.
In a similar fashion, with full spectrum lighting, your children and grandchildren will be able to read, learn, study and do their homework much more effectively at home. In fact, studies of the use of full spectrum lighting in classrooms and schools overwhelmingly demonstrate positive effects on learning performance and achievement.
Pioneer light researcher (and full spectrum light inventor) Dr. John Ott first coined the term “malillumination” to describe sunlight deficiency and the harmful effects of typical cool-white and pink-colored fluorescent light on learning, behavior, health and longevity.
Even back in 1980, scientists reported that cool-white fluorescent lighting produced increased levels of the stress-producing hormones ACTH and cortisol. They noted that their findings explained the agitated mental and physical behavior of children sitting all day under artificial lights, and recommended a change to illumination similar to that of natural light.
Dr. Laurence Martel, President of the National Academy of Integrative Learning, Inc., believes that light, particularly full spectrum light, is a critical element in what he calls the ergonomics of learning. As he puts it, malillumination is to light what malnutrition is to food.
Dr. Martel references a large body of research evidence indicating that the cool-white fluorescent bulbs found in virtually all classrooms cause increased stress, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, attention problems and poor learning performance.
Because of this, he coined the term “posillumination” to refer to the simulated sunlight found in full spectrum lighting. He states that there is an overwhelming body of research showing its positive impact on human behavior, learning, health, hardiness and longer life.
According to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, poor lighting is one of the major environmental dangers at school that our children are subjected to. This journal cited studies showing the positive benefits of “daylighting” or creating classrooms with full spectrum lighting.
In one study done in a North Carolina school, children attending classes with full spectrum lighting vs. traditional lighting were healthier overall, attended school several more days per year, and exhibited more positive moods. And a California school study showed that students in classrooms with more natural lighting demonstrated faster progression in both math and reading tests.
And students aren’t the only ones noticing benefits in the classrooms. Teachers have reported more energy, elimination of headaches and decreased frustration when classrooms have been fitted with full spectrum lights.
Unfortunately, unless you are a wealthy philanthropist, you may not be able to upgrade your child’s school to full spectrum lighting. However, you can upgrade your child’s home learning environment to promote the highest level of functioning possible by replacing lights in your home and, especially, your child’s study area with full spectrum light bulbs.
Pets and Plants Need Full Spectrum Light Too
Just like you, your pets need adequate sunlight — and will derive much the same benefit from Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum lighting in your home. With veterinarian bills rivaling the cost for our own medical bills, boosting their health is an extra bonus of using full spectrum light … and just makes good sense.
Similarly, plants also grow better under full spectrum lights. Obviously, plants depend on quality light for their growth — just like we do. Relying on sunlight coming through windows during part of the day is not adequate. Add to this other factors such as air pollution, cloudy weather, and dirty windows (or no windows) and you can easily see how the addition of full spectrum lighting will make your green thumb even greener.
I apologize in advance if this gets a bit technical. However, as a consumer, you are owed all the facts so that you can make informed choices, especially with such important issues about your health and well-being — wouldn’t you agree?
First of all, you should consider these key points:
In order to achieve natural balanced sunlight INDOORS, your light bulbs must contain a full spectrum of color (imagine all the colors of the rainbow).
Additionally, true full spectrum lighting must contain infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. (The hazards of UV have been vastly exaggerated — moderate levels of UV are not only safe, but essential for good health.) Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum light bulbs contain all these essential ingredients (full color spectrum, IR and UV) to help you receive the complete balanced complement of natural light.
Third, there is no such thing as an incandescent full spectrum light bulb (despite what some unscrupulous sales people might tell you). Inexpensive neodymium bulbs touted as “full spectrum” lights will not give you the health benefits of true full spectrum, and are consequently no bargain.
And fourth, fluorescent bulbs are the ONLY type of bulbs that currently produce complete and healthy full spectrum lighting. But, as you will see, not all fluorescent bulbs are the same …
There is some terminology you need to be aware of to really understand why Mercola Healthy Home bulbs are TRUE full spectrum lights … and why many bulbs on the market are not.
Two terms you should understand are Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Retention Index (CRI).
Correlated Color Temperature is a scale used to describe temperature in degrees Kelvin (abbreviated as ‘K’). The CCT rating for a lamp is a general indication of the warmth or coolness of its appearance. As CCT increases, that means the appearance of the source light has shifted from reddish-white toward bluish-white; in other words, the higher the color temperature, the cooler the color appearance.
Now, this may seem counter-intuitive — we want to believe that bluer light sources have a lower or “cooler” color temperature, and that yellow light sources have a higher or “warmer” color temperature. However, the exact opposite is true.
Lamps with a lower color temperature (3500K or less) have a warm or reddish-yellow to orange-white appearance. Saturated in red and orange wavelengths, the light brings out warmer colors such as red and orange more richly.
Lamps with a mid-range color temperature (3500K to 4100K) have a neutral or white appearance. The light is more balanced in its color wavelengths.
Lamps with a higher color temperature (4100K or higher) have a cool or bluish-white appearance.
So don’t be confused: summer sunlight at noon on a clear day has a very cool appearance at about 5500K. The light is saturated in green and blue wavelengths, bringing out cooler object colors such as green and blue more richly.
This color temperature of 5500K is exactly the temperature found in Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum light bulbs, making them comparable to mid-day sun, the time of day when the sun has its highest “photobiotic” activity.
The other term you should understand, the Color Rendering Index or CRI, describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes; how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed. CRI is expressed as a rating from 0 to 100; the higher the CRI rating, the better its color rendering ability.
Imagine two objects, one red and one blue, which are lighted by a cool light source with a low CRI. The red object appears muted while the blue object appears a rich blue. Now take out the low CRI light source and put in a cool light source with a high CRI. The blue object still appears a rich blue, but the red object appears more like its true color.
One common misconception is that color temperature and color rendering both describe the same properties of the lamp. You can see from the above descriptions that this is not the case. Color temperature describes the color appearance of the light source and the light emitted from it. Color rendering describes how well the light demonstrates colors in objects.