A Spectrally Dynamic Berth Light for Active Circadian Cycle Management

Period of Performance: 06/15/2010 - 06/14/2012

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Fiberstars, Inc.
32000 Aurora Road
Solon, OH 44139
Principal Investigator

Abstract

A significant amount of personal injury and property damage as well as lost productivity could be avoided by speeding up the body s adjustment cycle to new circadian schedules or re-synchronizing body schedules that have slipped or advanced. For the military, this problem is especially acute because the warfighters duties include dangerous equipment and a need for 24-hour operational readiness. The current navy submarine berth light is inadequate and often detrimental for circadian management. Like many fixtures, the control is limited to dumb on/off of the white light. The white light does not accomplish the circadian resetting avoidance that amber light does, while darkness does not provide any illumination for near-sleep or relaxing activities in the berth. The white light does not maximize circadian resetting upon waking as much of the energy is circadian spectrally ineffective and the brightness is often overwhelming, while darkness is obviously even less effective. The full on or full off does not provide smooth transitions between states, and the lamp cannot turn itself on/off independently after being programmed to do so by the user. The technical problem being addressed is how best to use a berth light to positively impact navy submariners circadian cycles.