Blue Light Shut-Off "Night Mode"

I’d love it if you could find a way to support shutting off all the blue light emission from your lighting products. Soraa is doing some interesting things here but it seems they’re going the “pro” route and discontinuing their “home” product line. I haven’t tried them personally, but I’m building a new house and my ideal setup/plan is your switches, Home Assistant for central smart home control, and non-existant smart lights where I could turn off all the blue light emission in the evening.

I assume you’re talking about the LED bar on the switches and dimmers? (They obviously have no control over what the lights on the load they are attached to does in this regard.) If so, if it’s of any help, you can completely disable the LED bar (definitely one way to get rid of blue light), adjust its brightness up/down, or change its color (though I’m not sure what component LEDs/colors it uses to make the arbitrary hues you can make it generate…though especially on the switches I can’t imagine this could be much either way).

These can all be done via Z-Wave parameters. You could easily make Home Assistant or whatever hub/software you end up using (assuming it’s not a super-limited platform like Wink) do any of these things based on whatever criteria you want, including time.

Nope, I’m talking about how research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin more than any other type of light. So no, not just the little status LED’s I’m suggesting a pretty large engineering endeavor to support turning off the blue light emission from any of the LED based lighting products.

What engineering endeavor are you asking for? Inovelli has 5 products, 4 light switches and 1 RGBW bulb. I’m pretty sure the bulb is a white label product meaning another company created it and Inovelli slapped their name on it possibly with a custom z-wave firmware or device handlers. So when you say “support shutting off all the blue light emission from your lighting products”, with what lighting products are you referring to?

I suppose future LED bulbs or strips. Also, making sure the switches could handle and communicate that kind of command to the lights. Maybe they could work with a partner like Sorea then on smart lighting (I don’t think Sorea does smart products today)? Hey, this section is for wishlist items and suggestions right?

That makes sense. I was confused since the only products that Inovelli fully engineered are their new line of switches, I believe every other product available has been a white label product. I had never heard of Soraa until you posted about them. I would be curious to know if they left the consumer space because it just wasn’t profitable for them? I only found one a19 bulb for sale and it was listed at $14. Either way it’s a solid suggestion and thanks for explaining.

Yes, indeed, because it allows for suggestions to be discussed. While composing this messaged, I had believed @flipontheradio was merely suggesting that this isn’t something that could be done, as such a feature would need to be some sort of standard that was embedded into the lights in everyone’s homes.

A quick Google search suggests there are LED bulbs claiming to have lower blue light.

As I am in a new home with many dedicated LED fixtures, what I do is have automation bring on lights at much lower brightness at nighttime, when it’s getting closer to bedtime. This is helpful whether or not you believe blue light spectrum is an issue.

As for that article, Wikipedia has a few interesting notes:

Current academic and medical consensus suggests there are no known health effects of day-to-day exposure to blue light (visible light with wavelengths 400-450 nm), and it is not regarded as a cause of eye disease or eye strain, as distinct from any other frequency band of visible light.[1][2][3] Despite the lack of scientific basis, numerous products and software claim to filter out blue light to prevent eye strain and sleep disruptions. Research into this area is often inconsistently reported. It is unlawful in the UK for a health practitioner to indicate to a patient that 400-450 nm blue light causes negative health effects or alters sleep. Harvard Health continues to support claims that exposure to blue light at night has a stronger negative effect on sleep.[4][5]

Under Aggressive Marketing heading…

Harvard University suggests - without revealing its original research or having any listed authors, suggesting a paid advertisement and not a scholarly reference - that blue light adversely affects the circadian rhythm. They appear to have partially attempted to retract their previous health claims from 2012, “Light at night is bad for your health, and exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs may be especially so.” The main article is not supported by any references or authorship but states that blue light could “potentially cause disease”.[5][4][5]]

Cheers,
…Donovan

Thankyou @LongDono, good add to the conversation. I admit that I’d just accepted this as proven science. It’s a bit not super easy to find peer-reviewed proof (granted I didn’t check who funded it that’s recent, but after searching through some published research )… but it does seem pretty well established that blue light during the day helps you feel more awake, and blue light at night makes it harder to sleep.

Here’s some stuff I found interesting:

There’s a component in Home Assistant called flux_led; it slowly dims lights over time.

You might adapt/edit it to dim out the blue component over the hour before bed, sending a reduced-blue RGB to lights in a group that accept it. If you’re already going with Home Assistant, you’ve got the basic platform to code up a component.

This is an interesting question, but not really something Inovelli is poised to target.

The basic idea of killing blue emissions in the evening to help circadian rhythm is a good one. But the place where this is done is where the light is created- in the fixture or bulb.

Inovelli (in general) makes lighting control devices, not lighting emission devices. They do have a smart bulb, but only one. And on the smart bulb you can already manually control the red/green/blue components, so with hub programming you could greatly reduce the blue component during evening hours. Or just switch off the ‘cool’ channel and switch on the ‘warm’ channel.

It sounds like Sorea was making LED bulbs where the blue component was farther into deep violet, so there’d be lower blue component intensity but that blue would be deeper into the blue/violet spectrum thus maybe having more visible effect. The resulting light would of course be low-CRI, but it would in theory avoid triggering the body’s blue light responses to some degree. In theory at least. It sounds like they were using their own custom LEDs for that, which is why they got out of the consumer market- make your ‘non blue’ bulb cost $2 more than the Costco bulb and your target market goes down by half. I’m sure with custom LEDs it cost a lot more.

Going conceptual for a minute- I think part of the solution might be to design a room with two lighting channels, one for cool color temperature light, one for warm color temperature light. Smart bulbs like Inovelli’s would be part, but not all, of the solution there. Most of the solution would be programming, so when you hit the light switch on the wall the controller mixes the warm and cool lighting channels to give you an appropriate blend of light for that time of day. That is also a place where Inovelli switches are a good choice- you can disable local control, so hitting the top of the paddle doesn’t immediately turn the light on, it just sends a signal to the hub. Hub then can control the actual dimmer to be on. That way one switch can control say the warm lighting, the cool lighting is controlled by a micro module or another switch on the other side of the room, and the hub sits in the middle.

@posthuman I think the real place you should be looking for help is in hub programming, not hardware. The scenario I laid out above can be physically built using existing Z-Wave hardware. The missing piece is the hub software to automatically map times of day to color temperatures.

Looks like Hubitat and ST have some apps that have been developed for something like this. I will the playing with the Hubitat one tonight for fun.

-Travis

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