GaN on GaN LED company Soraa has announced its entry into the consumer market with Helia, described as a healthy light environment for homes.
Helia, which was unveiled at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, is said to replicate the timing and visible spectrum of natural sunlight. It uses Soraa's LED technology coupled with an enterprise-grade networking and sensor platform to adapt to the environment automatically, based on a home's sunrise and sunset times.
Helia bulbs provide plenty of blue light in the morning to wake you up, according to Soraa. During the day, museum-quality light makes your surroundings come alive. And in the evening as you wind down, Soraa's patented BlueFree LED technology removes blue light completely, while retaining a soft white color.
Specialised cells in our eyes respond to blue light wavelengths to synchronise our internal clocks - and set a circadian rhythm. Natural sunlight is bright and filled with blue light in the morning. As the sun sets, blue light recedes, signaling our bodies to prepare for sleep.
Many studies now conclude that even common levels of blue light exposure in the evening, primarily coming from artificial lighting sources, can negatively impact sleep and longer-term health. Today more than 60 percent of Americans report sleep problems.
"More than ever, consumers are becoming aware of the effect artificial lighting and screens are having on their sleep and health, " says Jeff Parker, CEO of Soraa. "Helia creates the healthiest lighting system ever introduced, to make homes a place where the efficiency of modern lighting and health can coexist."
Dr. W. Chris Winter adds, "paying attention to the amount and quality of the light you expose yourself to during the day and night is probably the single biggest modifiable factor for getting a healthy night of sleep." Dr. Winter is a Sleep Specialist and Neurologist who consults for several NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL teams.
Other smart bulbs can change colour during the day and night, but since they are all made with standard LEDs, they emit up to 20 times more blue light and can make your rooms unnaturally yellow, says Soraa.
Helia is said to be simple to install as the bulbs will automatically connect to one another over the existing power lines in your house and start working together. No wireless hub or internet connection is required to provide seamless integration, says Soraa. A Helia app is also available for fine tuning.
"People like to talk about 'smart lighting' a lot when talking about IoT, but so far 'smart' has simply meant one can turn lights on and off using an app - which is not necessarily intuitive - and light quality has always been secondary." says Phil Kearney, Soraa's Vice President, Consumer Products. "We developed Helia to work just the way you think it would, and to also bring the same quality of light that was once reserved for museums and high-end retail into the home."
Helia will be available initially in the North America market Spring 2017 at Helia.com and will be sold as Room Kits.