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Harvard University Selects Low-Intensity GreenLIGHT Lamps for Space Study

The Lo-LIGHT in the Russian Institue for Biomedical Problems 
chamber in a simulated space travel project. Harvard University selected Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT lamps for a study to evaluate lighting interventions for combatting the negative effects of sleep disturbance in night shift workers or by astronauts traveling to deep space. This study was conducted in collaboration with the European Space Agency at the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems. The study, An Operational Evaluation of a Photic Countermeasure to Improve Alertness, Performance, and Mood During Night-Shift Work on the 105-Day Russian Chamber Study, was funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute [NSBRI] in Houston, Texas.

The Lo-LIGHT in the Russian Institue for Biomedical Problems 
chamber in a for simulated space travel project. The Lighting Intervention Study, with lead investigator Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the Director of the Department of Sleep Medicine at Harvard University, compared the effects of different wavelengths of light on performance, alertness, and mood during the night shift. The trials consisted of two different wavelengths of light in the green spectrum, a shorter wavelength green light [the Sunnex Biotechnologies GreenLIGHT], and a medium wavelength green light(545-555 nm), as well as a control condition with longer wavelength (620 -690 nm) red light. Crew members and mission control personnel participated.

Studies to Improve Performance and Alertness of Night Shift Workers for NASA

Based on the results of the NSBRI study, as well as results from other ongoing projects in their laboratory, the researchers at Harvard have determined that the peak sensitivity of the human circadian system is closer to 500nm than to 460nm. As a result of this "new information about the peak sensitivity of the human circadian system, determining that the most efficacious specialized light source should have a peak near 500nm (as opposed to ~470nm as the lamps produced by Philips Lighting, Eindhoven, Netherlands, as originally proposed), and therefore identifying such a new specialized light source for our studies; retrofitting our laboratory with specialized lamps (manufactured by Sunnex Biotechnologies, Winnipeg, MB, Canada) with a peak sensitivity near 500nm." [From NASA's Space Life & Physical Sciences Research & Applications Division Task Book - Evaluation of Photic Countermeasures for Circadian Entrainment of Neurobehavioral Performance and Sleep-Wake Regulation Before and During Spaceflight.]

In his comments in the NASA taskbook on the multi-year study using Sunnex Biotehnologies lamps, Dr. Czeisler stated; "We predicted that exposure to polychromatic green light throughout the day would rapidly entrain the circadian melatonin rhythm to the shifted sleep-wake schedule." and "We implemented and tested a new polychromatic fluorescent lamp with a peak spectral sensitivity of ~500nm. This is near the peak sensitivity of the human circadian system, and thus should be the most efficacious polychromatic lamp for shifting the timing of the human biological clock. In addition to benefits for NASA flight personnel this technology will also have application to shift-workers, to jet travelers, and to any personnel who need to shift the timing of their biological rhythms."

It is expected that the findings of these studies will have an impact beyond the space program and that the lessons learned in these trials will be applicable to people working the night shift. The low-intensity Sunnex Biotechnologies GreenLIGHT technology is unique in that it can be adapted safely and comfortably into almost any work environment. Enhancing performance during the night shift by regulating circadian rhythms with light management will be useful for a wide variety of 24/7 operations. Understandings gained in these studies for NASA with the Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT lamps should benefit many night shift workers, especially those working in positions where alertness during the night shift is essential. This includes first responders, medical staff in hospitals, air traffic controllers, power plant and resource plant control room operators, as well as people working in the transportation industry and conducting military operations.
Note: Much of the information on this page is taken from the NSBRI and NASA Advanced Capabilities Division web sites. see Summary of green Light study to improve alertness, performance, and mood during the night shift. in the Technical Section and Earth Applications tabs.
More applications of the GreenLIGHT system in the workplace for night shift counter-fatigue programs.


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The Sunnex Biotechnologies Lo-LIGHT phototherapy lamp comes with a five year warranty. Details

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