We all know the importance of exercise, diet, and relaxation for our wellbeing, but have you ever thought about your ‘light’ health? In today’s fast-paced world, we’re constantly surrounded by artificial light from devices like computer monitors, mobile phones, tablets, and TV screens, not to mention LEDs, incandescent, and fluorescent lights.
A ton of scientific research has shown that different light wavelengths can affect our body’s internal clock. As a result, many of us are stuck in a ‘circadian twilight’ that can mess with our sleep, make thinking harder, and even increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Thankfully, there’s OSIN, a team of scientists and technologists dedicated to ending circadian disruption. Based in New Zealand, the company builds advanced light systems and desk lamps designed to put our health on track, and I’ve been using the OSIN Loop for a few weeks.
“There’s a growing consensus amongst scientists that the circadian rhythm is the new frontier in improving health.”
OSIN, based in New Zealand, develops advanced lighting solutions aimed at improving circadian health. Their flagship product, the OSIN Loop, is a smart desk lamp designed to provide optimal wavelengths of light throughout the day, promoting better sleep, cognition, and wellness. Founded by scientists and technologists, OSIN combines innovation with the latest research to create effective, science-backed solutions for healthier living through the power of light.
How does the Loop desk lamp work?
As many of us work indoors, we tend to get the wrong wavelengths of light from our computer screens and phones during the day. As the sun goes down, we switch to artificial overhead light.
This is practically opposite to how our bodies have adapted to natural sunlight. In general, we should be getting more sky-blue light in the morning, and we get too much blue light at night, so our modern way of living confuses our circadian rhythms.
Enter the Loop, a ‘smart’ desk lamp designed to expose your eyes to the correct wavelengths of light. You place the Loop close to your field of vision, beside your monitor, for example, and the Loop’s “automatic light scheduling” will shine sky-blue light in the morning, which will gradually turn to white, and then shifts to a soothing amber light. This gentle, warmer light in the evening helps signal to the body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for restful sleep.
As long as some of this light reaches the photoreceptors in your eyes, this will tell your body what it needs to know to align your rhythms.
Is the Loop easy to use?
There’s an OSIN app that you connect to the Loop that tells it the time, so it can automatically adapt the light’s color. The app also makes it possible to take the Loop with you on a trip to another timezone, so it can help you adapt to a different part of the world.
Otherwise, the app has controls for adjusting the intensity of amber light; however, the blue light can’t be changed. Perhaps this is due to the LEDs it uses, or that blue light shouldn’t be made brighter.
“Research has shown that exposure to bright light in the morning can boost our energy levels and cognitive performance.”
It only takes a few minutes to get the Loop up and running: simply plug it in and sync it with the app. Then you’ll need to put it in your field of view, such as beside your monitor or TV screen.
You plug it into a wall socket, and there’s a power button on the rear of the stand to turn in on or off. There’s no battery option, however.
I’ve been using the Loop for a couple of weeks, and it’s been sitting beside my monitor as I go about my work. Since I often work late into the evening, it helps ensure the right wavelengths reach my photoreceptors and that my body starts to wind down. I would often feel quite ‘wired’ after working late at night and struggled to sleep, but I haven’t had many sleepless nights since using the Loop.
It’s worth noting that the Loop is more suited to people working in a room without much natural light. My workspace receives a fair amount of daylight, so I might not be missing out on as much daytime light as others.
Keep in mind that the Loop’s price is not insignificant at $499. Thankfully, there’s a 30 day free return so there’s little risk to try it out. For those who do a lot of screen work, especially in a place with limited natural light, the Loop could make a big improvement to their circadian alignment, and all the health benefits that come with it.