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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


New Tech Tuesdays: Human-Centric Lighting Solutions to Keep Us Comfortable, Healthy Tommy Cummings

Join journalist Tommy Cummings for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

Has the light fixture above your office workstation given you fits, made you tired, or cranky? Does the light cast in a way that just doesn't make you comfortable? Lighting is a concern when it comes to comfort.

On a technical level, it's addressed with human-centric lighting (HCL) techniques. HCL is the art of creating lighting that mimics natural daylight. This leads to enhanced human performance, comfort, health, and well-being.

Humans have evolved to live in harmony with the planet's daily light cycle. How the sunlight changes from dawn to dusk can trigger your body to behave in a particular way. For example, morning sunlight is an alerting mechanism while the darkness of night means go night-night.

Before industrialization, people worked with the natural-light cycle. But today, people in office settings are exposed to long hours of artificial light. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that Americans average approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, meaning we are exposed to a lot of artificial lighting. Sometimes it's too dim or too dark, which can disrupt the circadian rhythm and increase the risk of disease.

HCL technologies offer solutions that can improve comfort, enhance mood, boost productivity, and restore natural sleep-wake cycles in users. HCL solutions should be considered in the design of the home, school, office, or other indoor environments.

In this week's New Tech Tuesdays, we'll look at HCL technologies from onsemi, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, and Hatch.

Let's Shed Some Light on This

The onsemi NCL31000 and NCL31001 LED Drivers can simplify solid-state lighting (SSL) product development with connectivity and smart-lighting feature sets. These devices support both high-bandwidth analog and pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming to zero current. The NCL31001 is the same as the NCL31000 except that it does not include DC-DC converters. The drivers can be operated from an input-voltage range of 21.5V-57V. Developers can select switching frequencies in the 44.4kHz-1MHz range. The drivers are applicable for visible light communication, connected indoor and outdoor lighting, multichannel managed lighting, theater lighting, therapeutic lighting, information displays, backlighting, and hazardous or sensitive environments.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors OSCONIQ® E 2835 Quantum Dot (QD) and Cyan Enhanced LEDs provide the correct spectrum of light to help the human body suppress the creation of melatonin during the day. The LED series' quantum dot technology delivers enhanced color rendering and warm Correlated Color Temperatures (CCTs). Both versions, which come in a 2.8mm x 3.5mm package, are ideal for human-centric office lighting. The E 2835 QD LEDs are also applicable for museums, retail, and health care. The cyan-enhanced version can be used for industrial, educational, and aero lighting.

Hatch Surge Protection Devices (SPD) enables design flexibility and easy integration into LED, high-intensity discharge (HID), and fluorescent fixtures. These surge protectors have a flat, slim profile with a single-screw mounting feature, making them suitable for factory installation or field replacement. They're available in 10kA or 20kA protection levels with 120V to 277V or 347V to 480V input voltage. They're also Type 4CA or Type 5 SPDs and are recognized to UL 1449 with protection for line-neutral, line-ground, and neutral-ground connections.

Tuesday's Takeaway

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, meaning we are exposed to a lot of artificial lighting. All of this exposure to artificial lighting can lead to disruptions in the circadian rhythm. Based on research, human-centric lighting solutions must be taken into account for human health and well-being. This means architects, interior designers, contractors, and other professionals should consider using HCL as a new way to approach lighting. At the very least, we should demand the lighting to be fixed above our workstations.



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Tommy Cummings is a freelance writer/editor based in Texas. He's had a journalism career that has spanned more than 40 years. He contributes to Texas Monthly and Oklahoma Today magazines. He's also worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. Tommy worked at Mouser Electronics from 2018 to 2021 as a technical content and product content specialist.


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