DEA Meeting : Bravas

Michael Bosco, SafeHaven Pest Control, introduced Keith Brown, Bravas, who is going to present today on lighting.  Michael was surprised Keith asked him to do the introduction, because he’s not too bright. (did you get it) Keith asked Michael to make sure his introduction included at least two Dad jokes, so here they are:

               Do you know when a Dad joke becomes a Dad joke? When it becomes apparent.

Because Keith is “a parent” to his cute daughter, Harper-Kate-Brown, pronounced by her as one word!

                Do you know why Chuck Norris sleeps with the lights on? Because the dark is afraid of him.

Lastly, Michael added that this topic of lighting really does turn him on (yep, he said that).  Thank goodness, Michael is better at killing bugs than introductions!

Keith was gracious enough to help fill in for us this morning.  This is a presentation he normally does for CEU credits for Interior Designers, it is supposed to be 55 minutes long – but he is going to do it in 15 minutes!

One of the things that Bravas does is lighting design and lighting control and there is a lot of new technology in lighting.  It is really interesting how lighting affects our health and everyday living.

Keith began with the briefest history of lighting ever…

Daylight: Our lives were governed by the sun, which solely determined our wake/sleep cycle.

Open Flame: The first artificial light was fire, which gave us some limited control over the night.

Oil & Gas Lamps: Safer, but still far less efficient than modern electric light.

Town Gas: Infrastructure moved burden from individual to municipality.

Electricity: With electricity we became more independent of the sun more than ever before.

The cost of light has plummeted over time making it possible for us to have light an incredibly low rate.  And with electricity we are now able to now function throughout the night, which has repercussions.

Keith showed an interior picture of the Kimball Art Museum and asked of those who have been there, did they remember the exhibits they saw there, or do they remember the space itself more?  Most remembered the space which is due to the incredible lighting designed by Richard Kelly.  He believed in what he called the 3 Elemental Forms of Light; Ambient Light, Task Light, and Accent Light. Basically, there’s not one type of light that does everything we need it to do.  When we take all these types of light and when we combine and layer them, we end up with something very beautiful.

Essentially, lighting design is layering a lot of light and there are several things to accomplish with light; such as, making it safe for people to move around a space and perform tasks.  Traditionally the most efficient way to light builder grade homes was with a ceiling fan and light kit.  It’s not a particularly attractive light, there’s a lot of glare, it’s harsh and not usually liked by most homeowners.  So, we upgraded and added can lights and laid them out in a grid pattern, which provided adequate light with an affordable light source.  Instead, Richard Kelly, takes a different approach to the space and determines what each light functionality is and layered them using the 3 Elemental Forms of Light.

Does anybody know where we get color temperature from? Color Temperature is the color of white light measured in Kelvin from 1,000K to 10,000K.  The number is based on the color of the carbon is at a certain temperature, i.e. if you heated a piece of carbon to 1,000K it would have a warmer tone, but heat it to 10,000K and it has a blue tone.

Dynamic Lighting, matching light to the way people live, is the new direction of lighting. It is expensive but phenomenal technology.  When we only had the sun as a light source, the lighting changed throughout the day, which made it easy for our bodies to keep track, because we were actually outside.  Now most people, sit in a cubicle all day, under 6,500K fluorescent light, staring at a computer screen or phone – their bodies have no reference for what time of day it is.

Our bodies run on natural 24-hour Circadian Rhythm cycles, using cues from the environment around us to tell our body when to do various functions.  Circadian Rhythm Lighting, also known as Dynamic or Human Centric Lighting, is artificial lighting designed to mimic nature by adjusting color and intensity based on time of day.

Why does that matter?  Essentially, our bodies as we get ready for bed at night start to release melatonin.  That is a signal to our bodies to go to bed and run all the processes that our bodies run at night.  As we get closer to morning, our bodies reduce the release of melatonin and begins to produce serotonin that tells our body it is time to be awake.

How does it work?  A part of our brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) functions as a pacemaker based on internal and external cues.  One of these cues is light, that light comes in through our eyeballs.  Our eyes have rods and cones, which are visual receptors, that are taking cues from the outside world and turn them into pictures that we see in our brain.  We also have a third type of receptor, called a melanopsin receptor.  These do not affect your vision in any way; however, if you had only melanopsin receptors you couldn’t see a thing, but your body would be receiving information about the outside world.  These receptors are very attentive to blue light.  Blue light also travels through the ocean really well, hence why the water looks blue.  They have done studies on organisms that live very, very deep in the ocean, where only the blue light is getting there. These organisms have melanopsin receptors, like what we have in our bodies, but on the top of their bodies looking up.  They are looking for cues from the sun and its position in the sky.  Human melanopsin receptors are at the bottom of our eyes facing up, also at the sun.  The belief is that they are looking for a blue sky and that blue sky tells our body when its time to wake up or time to go to sleep.  Like the Night Shift mode on your phone, which turns everything a yellow color at night.  Essentially this is removing the blue light and telling our bodies it is nighttime.

Lighting in Healthcare – one hospital in Germany did a lighting study – half their wing was traditional artificial lighting and the other half was circadian rhythm lighting.  The results showed that the nurses and patients in the circadian rhythm lighting were happier, and the patients were eating better and healing faster.  All by changing the lighting.

Lighting at Work – Tunable light allows for peak performance throughout the day, increasing productivity.  Colored light can be used for communicating things like the status of conference rooms, market swings, or other company information.

All this has led to Biophilic Design, which is bringing nature indoors.  90% of our time is spent indoors. This disconnection from nature negatively impacts our health, including circadian rhythm disruption. By bringing nature in, employees are happier and more productive.

One of the products that Bravas sells is lighting and a lot of what they sell can do this circadian rhythm.  Some of it better than others, and currently has a very high price point.  But this is technology they see coming into every home in the next 15-20 years and we will wonder why we didn’t do this sooner because studies show that it makes people healthier and happier.  Hopefully everyone at least learned something about lighting today!

To see more of what Bravas can offer, check out

Leave a Reply