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Using Light to Treat Seasonal Depression

December 21st marked the return of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we got just nine hours of daylight. Some of the northern-most US cities, like Barrow, Alaska, didn’t get any. As the days get shorter, the lack of sunlight can trigger changes in our body and disrupt some of the brain’s daily chemical functions.

These changes cause some to experience the “winter blues.” At times, even the most-optimistic personality can be diminished by cold, dreary, endlessly stale and gray days. For many people, however, the winter months can cause them to experience feelings of depression, lethargy, and irritability—all of which usually improve once spring arrives.

This is what’s known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). It’s more serious than the typical “winter blues,” and is more common than most people think. Those with SAD can get bogged down and lose steam as the days become short-lived and the nights get longer. Although the winter solstice marks a seasonal turning point, for those with seasonal affective disorder, it’s just another day of feeling blue.

In this blog, we’ll go more in-depth as to what Seasonal Affective Disorder is, and explore how you can manage its symptoms using light therapy, so you can experience a greater sense of well-being and stay positive during the winter months.

What is SAD?

“Season Affective Disorder (SAD) is a sub-type of depression that is linked to the change in seasons,” as defined by Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of SAD include: feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, social withdrawal, the inability to concentrate, less energy, loss of interest in work and other activities, uncontrollable urges to eat sugary and high-carb foods and the accompanied weight gain. Although these symptoms typically fade with the arrival of spring, SAD can leave you overweight, out-of-shape, and with strains on relationships and employment.

Although anyone can be affected by SAD, a study by American Family Physician found that women are four times more likely than men to experience the disorder, and a separate report found SAD is more prevalent in those who are younger, those who live further from the equator, and those with a family history of depression and/or bipolar disorder.

Researchers are still unclear about the exact causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but many experts agree that the condition is linked to the reduced hours of sunlight in winter months, and the lack of sunlight preventing the hypothalamus (that part of the brain that controls circadian rhythm) from performing properly. As a result, chemicals produced by the brain that affect mood- and sleep-related hormones, like melatonin and serotonin, are inconsistent.

These changes in our environment cause the brain to overproduce the hormone melatonin in-response to less sunlight and extended periods of darkness, causing sleepiness. In addition, in those who experience SAD, serotonin is quickly swept away from the space in-between neurons, caused by excess levels of transporter proteins, moving the chemical back in the presynaptic neuron, which can lead to depression.

Some find that taking an antidepressant medication helps relieve the symptoms; however a unique approach to fighting seasonal depression is the use of light therapy.

Using Light Therapy for Treatment of SAD

One of the most-effective ways to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder is Bright Light Therapy. It’s based on the idea that if the lack of sunlight contributes to SAD than getting the appropriate dose of light may reverse its symptoms. The practice involves exposure to high levels of intense light, emitted by a special “light box,” for 30-minutes a day, typically as soon after waking up as possible. These light boxes produce 10,000 “lux” (a measure of light intensity), which is about 20 times brighter than typical indoor lighting.

Bright light therapy works by stimulating intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) in the eye that connect to and activate the hypothalamus. Activating the hypothalamus at a certain time every day controls the release of hormones like melatonin and cortisol, restoring a normal circadian rhythm, and thus dismissing seasonal symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that lamps with a dosage of 10,000 lux can effectively treat SAD after one week of use.

Although it’s considered to be as effective in treating seasonal affective disorder as antidepressants, light therapy may not work, or be an appropriate method, for everyone. Some may require additional, or brighter, light. Others may not be able to tolerate bright light; for those with bipolar disorder, bright light can trigger hypomania or mania; be sure to consult with your doctor before trying light therapy.

Researchers are currently looking for ways to improve and increase the effectiveness of light therapy. One method currently being investigated is “Dawn Simulation,” where a lamp, controlled by a computerized timer, simulates a natural sunrise by gradually increasing in light intensity from darkness to 300 lux. Another method is “Negative Ion Therapy” that uses a special electronic device to deliver negatively-charged particles, similar to those created naturally by the sun, wind, and moving water.

Getting the Most Out of Light Therapy

The following tips have been adapted from Dr. Merlynn Wei’s advice to getting the most of and increasing Bright Light Therapy’s effectiveness:

1. Make sure your light box is 10,000 lux.

You’re trying to mimic the full spectrum of light found in natural sunlight, so using a normal light won’t suffice. Use a light box made for Bright Light Therapy or “phototherapy.” Your light box should emit 10,000 lux, which is 20 times stronger than typical indoor lighting. Using a lamp with few lux units may require you to use it for longer periods of time to achieve similar benefits.

2. Use light boxes that provide the full spectrum of white light and avoid ultraviolet rays.

To best mimic natural daylight, you’ll want a light box that utilities the full spectrum of white (or visible) light, and filters out 99% of UV rays, which are harmful to your body.

3. Position the box at eye level or higher.

The position and distance of your light box relative to your eyes makes a difference. For the best results, your light box should mimic being outdoors.

4. Position the light box about two feet away from your eyes.

If you have a traditional 10,000 lux light box, it is recommended practice to sit about two feet away from the box to avoid any possible retinal damage. Having a weaker light box means you will need to sit closer to it to produce the desired effects.

5. Keep the box at an angle to the right or left.

Avoid positioning your light box directly in front of your eyes. Instead, put it about 45 degrees to the right or left of your eyes (about 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock, respectively).

6. Use your light box for 20 to 60 minutes in the morning.

This will depend on your individual needs, but recommended practice is to start with 20 to 30 minutes of using the light box every morning to see if it improves mood and energy. If it isn’t making a difference, try using your light box for longer periods of time, up to 60 minutes each morning. Users of light boxes like to employ bright light therapy into their morning routine, and multitask while they have their morning coffee and breakfast, check their emails, etc.

7. Use the light box daily from early fall through winter.

Consistency is important in bright light therapy. Using your light box daily is more-likely to boost your mood and energy levels. If you’re prone to getting the “winter blues,” start using your light box every morning in the early fall. Using your light box later in the year, or only using your light box a few times per week, can reduce its effectiveness.

8. Avoid light therapy if you take medications that are photosensitive.

Photosensitive medications include lithium, melatonin, certain antibiotics, and some acne medications like Accutane. These meds make your skin sensitive to light, which can lead to skin changes that appear similar to a sunburn or rash.

9. Monitor your mood to see if it’s working.

Most people begin to notice more energy and an improved mood within one to two weeks when used daily. Others notice a more immediate response to light therapy. If you’re looking to try Bright Light Therapy, please talk to your doctor first. As mentioned earlier, some people may have a bad reaction to the bright light in the first few days, including suicidal thoughts or hypomania.

10. Combine light therapy with other effective approaches for seasonal depression.

Bright light therapy is considerably effective when combined with other approaches to treating seasonal depression. This study found that cognitive therapy twice a week for six weeks was just as effective as 30 minutes of bright light therapy every morning.

As our understanding of light spectrums and how they influence our physiology expand, our methods and technology continue to branch out in niches that help us learn and improve our daily lives. Although there is no substitute for sunlight or being outdoors, practicing bright light therapy can lift our spirits when we can’t be in the sun.

7 Ways A Lighting Upgrade Will Benefit Your School

Lighting plays an important role in schools in many different ways. It can directly affect how well students see and learn; it’s also a significant consumer of a district’s energy.

As a school leader, you have the opportunity to create a true learning environment through lighting that improves productivity, engagement levels, and focus in the classroom.

Since schools are ranked—and often financially penalized or rewarded—depending on academic performance and graduation rates, money saved through the installation of a new lighting system is also money available for initiatives that have a direct impact on student performance.

Still looking for reasons to justify a lighting upgrade for your school (or district)?

Here are seven reasons you should get started:

1. Better Light Quality & Output

Many students already have visual problems—i.e. focusing, eye tracking, visual acuity, perception, etc. A lighting upgrade will aid students in properly seeing all areas of the classroom (and the rest of the school). Additionally, an upgrade using LED lighting can effectively reduce glare and flicker, which not only have a negative impact on students, but on teachers as well.

Fluorescent lighting, the type of lighting most-commonly used in schools, has been shown to bother students with autism. Those with autism are sensitive to the subtle flicker of direct fluorescent lighting, causing headaches, eyestrain, and increased repetitive behavior.

This is another case where an LED lighting upgrade would be a benefit since LEDs do not flicker when fully dimmed. This makes them a great option for special education classrooms.

2. Healthier Circadian Rhythm

When discussing the benefits of a lighting upgrade, another important topic is circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is an internal, biological clock that helps our bodies determine when to wake up, when to go to sleep, and even when to concentrate and when to relax.

If your school uses a lighting system that doesn’t align with our natural circadian rhythm, the sleep-wake cycle of both students and staff can get disrupted. This can have a negative affect on the ability to concentrate and may result in additional tardies and absences.

On average, students today already sleep approximately two hours less than they did in the past. This is due to reduced exposure to natural daylighting, and other factors, like using electronic devices before bedtime. Both of which influence our circadian rhythm. This pattern of disruption in sleep can potentially lead to behavioral issues, and one study suggests that “in 50 to 80 percent of cases for ADHD, the most-likely factor for the findings is sleep deprivation resulting from disruption of the biological clock and circadian rhythm.”

It goes without saying: students who don’t get enough sleep are not able to perform to their full potential in the classroom.

3. Improvements in Mood and Behavior

Utilizing your lighting system properly can increase focus, aid in concentration and relaxation, and improve the overall mood and behavior in students. Color temperature, for example, can play a huge role in the health of students.

Cooler (or bluer) color temperatures (4100K-5000K) in the morning can help students wake up and become more alert, helping with their mental cognition and their ability to learn and comprehend material.

A study completed by the Universities of Mississippi and Texas, respectively, shows that cool color temperatures can improve the behavior of students who are hyperactive or have learning disabilities.

Light levels, like color temperature, are very important in the classroom. Various types of depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or “the winter blues,” which is very common in school and office environments, can be treated with bright light. Spending too much time in a dimly-lit room can negatively affect a person’s mood, and cause them to feel depressed. Bright lighting is so useful for treating depression because it helps encourage bright and upbeat moods.

This study, carried out at two schools in Germany, investigated the effects of light on student performance. The research found that students working under artificial LED lighting designed to simulate daylight showed improved concentration and classroom performance, with some students even reporting being able to tell the difference in their mood and concentration.

4. Better Test Scores

There is also growing evidence that LED lighting itself may improve academic performance.

A 2016 study investigated the effects of light on two classrooms of students taking math tests; one classroom was equipped with standard fluorescent lighting, and the other classroom had LED lights that were fitted with an artificial “daylighting” option that mimics natural daylight, similar to the one mentioned previously.

The result: students were more alert and scored significantly higher on tests in the classroom outfitted with simulated daylight-like lighting.

Similar studies have conclusively shown that proper LED lighting can improve concentration, reading speed and comprehension, lower errors rates, and boost productivity.

5. Tunable Lighting & Lighting Controls

 

The Department of Energy describes the next-generation integrated classroom lighting system as “a highly energy efficient, fully-dimmable, tunable white-lighting system,” noting that classroom lighting must be flexible and easy to use to accommodate different teaching methods, how students of all ages learn, and visitors/substitute teachers.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of classrooms in the U.S. only have on/off controls, and even simple dimming is available in less than 2 percent of classrooms.

A tunable lighting system can provide teachers with an additional tool in the classroom, by offering tunable color temperature, which helps gain the attention of students, promote relaxation or cool down time after recess, and provide the right lighting levels for specific tasks—i.e. direct instruction with white boards or smart boards, note taking during presentations, and computer work.

Dimming can save money, too. Many LED light fixtures feature “daylight harvesting” which automatically respond to ambient light levels to further reduce energy costs.

6. Save Money (and the Planet)

This is usually the first argument for a lighting upgrade in any facility. Energy costs are the second largest operational expense for school districts and lighting accounts for as much as 30 to 50 percent of those costs.

Additionally, many schools throughout the U.S. that still use fluorescent, or even incandescent, spend more money trying to compensate for the heat generated from their outdated fixtures than the fixture itself. A lighting upgrade could potentially cut energy used for lighting by half – in some cases up to 70% -- and another 10 to 20 percent for cooling, further reducing energy costs!

LEDs are the best “bang-for-your-buck” in terms of a lighting upgrade. You won’t have to worry about replacing yours for years or possibly decades to come. LEDs in-particular have a lifespan of approximately 100,000 hours (or up to 20 years), several times longer than the 10,000-hour operational life of fluorescents. LEDs are also built for durability and require little, if any, maintenance.

With the price of LEDs dropping more than 85% in recent years, making the switch is easier and more cost-effective than ever, and also provides a much shorter payback period—in some cases payback occurs in as little as three years!

7. Prepping for the Future: Smart Lighting

Today’s advanced LED light fixtures can create entire “smart schools” with embedded sensors, intelligence, and networking capabilities. The development of smart lighting solutions will continue in the coming years based on increased connectivity and internet of things (IoT) solutions becoming a key element in areas around the globe.

The opportunities available to schools with the installation of smart lighting solutions go far beyond energy and maintenance savings.

Modern smart lighting products can help schools and universities in monitoring their environment, to increase student and staff safety or to upgrade connectivity as “LiFi” hotspots.

How to Start Your Upgrade

If your school is looking to install new lighting, consider the following:

  • Conduct an Audit. This should be done by a lighting professional; the outside party will gather your district’s energy consumption data, evaluate the best solution, and then present to your administration’s decision-makers to obtain their support.

Energy Performance Lighting provides investment-grade audits using a comprehensive assessment with room-by-room exact pricing of exterior and interior lighting. Once the assessment is complete, EPL develops lighting upgrade options in a “Good, Better, Best” format with varying savings and price points.

  • Organize a Mock Up. Once you have your administration’s support, mock-up an area of the school where the new lighting will be installed so students, teachers, and staff can visualize the changes.
  • Utilize Rebates. Inquire about rebates from your lighting professional. Your utility provider may offer incentives for lighting upgrades. Rebates may also be available at the state or federal level, which can speed up the project’s payback period.
  • Funding. This is often times the most-challenging aspect of any school improvement project. If funding is not available in your budget, consider breaking the project into annual phases. Cooperative purchasing and financing are other options to get your project in-motion.

EPL offers a budget development at no cost to school districts. We calculate within 10% of the project’s total cost and payment can be broken up into annual plans.

  • Installation. Determine when the lighting upgrade when take place (weeknights, weekends, over summer break, etc.) and if an outside party or your maintenance team will handle installation. Using a professional to install your lighting frees up your staff to handle other maintenance issues throughout the district.

Energy Performance Lighting performs all installs with in-house electricians; we do not use any third-party sub-contractors. We also provide controlled construction timelines, as needed.

In Conclusion

Schools looking for options that reduce operational costs, improve student performance, and create better performing learning centers should consider an LED lighting upgrade or lighting retrofits. The LED market is more consumer-friendly than ever, and is now the standard in commercial and industrial applications, including educational facilities. LEDs provide better and safer performance, increased energy efficiency, and a longer operating life.

If you’re looking for a way to improve the environment for your students and teachers, a lighting upgrade may be the solution. For more information, or to schedule on audit, contact the Lighting Certified specialists at Energy Performance Lighting by email or phone at (608) 661-5555.

 

 


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Shedding Light on the Cost of Shift Work

There are many terms that coincide with shift work (working the night shift, in particular)—“third shift, graveyard shift, rotating shift, alternate shift, and swing shift.” In America, around four million people – or roughly two in five employees – now work the night shift [1]. Additionally, even more people work floating or erratic schedules that may include night shifts and/or working on the weekend. As the demand for a 24-hour global society expands, the prevalence of sleep-related health problems continues to increase.

Consequences of Night Shift

Aside from the obvious sacrifices of working night shift—such as maintaining relationships, time with family, and social lives—studies by the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School have discovered that jobs that extend the work day beyond the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. can have an abundance of negative health implications on workers [2]. Negative health consequences include: chronic disruption of the circadian rhythm, type-2 diabetes, insufficient sleep or chronic sleep loss, insomnia, higher rates of cancer, poor diet, increased irritability, mood swings, and higher rates of depression.

Shiftwork, Lighting, and Circadian Rhythm

A 24-hour light-dark cycle is a fundamental characteristic of our planet’s environment. Light helps to coordinate the temporal rhythms of our physiology and behavior by sending signals to non-visual pathways in the brain that regulate circadian rhythm, our body’s natural internal clock.

Circadian rhythm utilizes the presence of light (or the lack thereof) to notify the body when to sleep and when to wake up. Blue and white light, naturally radiated throughout the day, are the main colors detected by sensitive, non-image-forming cells in our eyes, called the ipRGC, or intrinsically photoreceptive Retinal Ganglion Cells. These ipRGCs notify the body of changes in light throughout the day. Through centuries of evolution, the ipRGC photoreceptor has detected the presence of blue light (or daylight), causing the body to naturally produce the stimulant cortisol. When this blue light isn’t detected by the ipRGCs, our body gradually starts to reduce the levels of cortisol produced, and begins to produce melatonin—the hormone associated with sleep [3].

Shiftwork disrupts the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle causing many night workers to feel sleep deprived and fatigued. This is because when workers complete their shift and leave work, they are stimulated by the morning sunlight reaching the ipRGC, releasing cortisol causing them to feel awake and alert. This also typically leads workers to lose out on the recommended amount of sleep suggested by scientists.

Improving Labor through Lighting

One way that companies can help alleviate the health risks facing shift workers, and help employees to feel energized and well-rested, is by providing adequate lighting throughout the building during all hours of operation. Whether working the day shift, or working in the middle of the night, having lighting that stimulates workers will help encourage productivity and alertness. Laborers on third-shift can help reduce the sleep-depriving effects of working overnight themselves by wearing sunglasses on their way home from work. Additionally, using blackout curtains in the room you’re sleeping in cause help induce the feeling of night time and help promote quality rest and sleep. In order to encourage growth in the modern economy, installing and maintaining the proper lighting to keep overnight employees attentive and alert is essential.

At Energy Performance Lighting, we are the experts in lighting and lighting upgrades. We focus on providing a happier, healthier, and more alert environment for those working—all while delivering amazing energy savings. The staff at Energy Performance Lighting is more than happy to help and we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the lighting needs of your business.

 


Sources:

[1]DeSilver, D. (2016, September 01). 10 facts about American workers. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/01/8-facts-about-american-w...

[2]White Papers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.circadian.com/solutions-services/publications-a-reports/whit...

[3]Dijk, D., & Archer, S. N. (2009). Light, Sleep, and Circadian Rhythms: Together Again. PLoS Biology,7(6), e1000145, 1-4. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from http://www.plosbiology.org/

How Light Influences Our Body Chemistry

Chemically, the human body is performing several different functions at every second of the day – from breaking down food, to converting oxygen to CO2, to promoting chemical reactions (in the form of hormones) triggered by our senses. Two hormones that are driving factors in our day-to-day-lives, melatonin and cortisol, are affected by the amount of light we receive from the sun throughout the day.

Chemical Imbalance Through Lighting

Melatonin and cortisol are the natural sleep-and-wake hormones in the body. An imbalance between these two hormones causes us to feel fatigued, unable to perform efficiently, and can be triggered by the absence of bluish-white light normally received from the sun.

On the flip side, an imbalance of these hormones can also be caused by taking-in too much blue-white light before going to sleep; whether from streetlights, cell phones and tablets, or leaving the television on. The results depend on what spectrum content of the light, and how much is entering our eyes at any given time.

The Hidden Photoreceptor

In the human eye, there are two visual photoreceptors, rods and cones, which are responsible for detecting light and objects as they move through our vision; however, there is a third photoreceptor in the human eye that is nonvisual, called the ipRGC (intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells).

Compared to rods and cones, the ipRGC are sluggish and more responsive to light over time, providing a stable representation of ambient light intensity. The ipRGC are very receptive to blue-white light, and as such, play a major role in synchronizing our circadian rhythm or body clock. When we receive sunlight in the morning our bodies respond by producing cortisol.

This response is due to input from the ipRGC telling the brain “it’s daytime, you should be awake and alert.” In that respect, the absence of blue-white light causes the brain to produce melatonin - the hormone related to sleep. In a typical day-night cycle decreasing blue hues, and increasing red-orange-yellow hues in the sky, lower cortisol production while increasing melatonin production. This chemical change is essentially telling our brains to “prepare for rest.”

Finding Balance

When we don’t have the proper balance of light throughout the day, the chemistry of our body is out of sync, which can lead to physical and mental health risks. Uneven exposure to light and its effects on human health are often seen during winter months in areas moderately-to-extremely north or south of the equator. One negative effect many people suffer from, seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), causes people to feel unmotivated, tired, and depressed. With less bright-white light reaching their eyes, less cortisol is produced, therefore causing fewer stimulants in the body to promote the feeling of energy and happiness.

Understanding how light affects our circadian rhythm and the chemistry of our body, it becomes easier to understand how the correct type of lighting in homes, schools, hospitals, and prisons is crucial. In the correct lighting, students focus better in class, hospitals have more alert night staff, and prisons have fewer outbursts with inmates.

At Energy Performance Lighting, we’re dedicated to providing a healthier artificially-lit environment for everyone. Our focus is on the scientific connection between light and human health, while delivering energy savings unmatched by any competitor. If you're wondering how an energy-efficient lighting upgrade can benefit your business, give the Lighting Certified specialist at EPL at call at 1-608-661-5555 or send us a message.


Source: Dijk D-J, Archer SN (2009) Light, Sleep, and Circadian Rhythms: Together Again. PLoS Biol 7(6): e1000145. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000145

Circadian Rhythm - Our Internal Clock

From the beginning of life on Earth, light has been the catalyst for growth and evolution. It has allowed us to move from single-cell organisms to complex multicellular organisms, sea to land, and four legs to two. It has also ruled when we eat, sleep and how we feel too, way before the clock was invented. This instinct that we go to bed when it’s dark and wake with the sun is actually not an instinct; it is our internal body clock otherwise known as the Circadian Rhythm.

The Circadian Rhythm developed millions of years ago, powered by the light we are living in every day. How our body’s clocks use light is made possible by photoreceptors in our eyes as they input the data from light to tell our bodies what to do. The main two photoreceptors we all know are the rods and cones which help us see colors and movement. There is a third photoreceptor discovered though, the ipRGC (intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells) which is sensitive to rich blue light that even visually impaired people may be sensitive to. When the ipRGC receives blue light, it is the notification to our brain and circadian rhythm to tell us to be awake, alert, and ready to go.  

Why blue light is an indicator for us to be awake is because of evolution. Over the course of millions of years, our retinas have evolved to associate blue light to daytime. Most light being received outdoors from the sun is blue light, which is why our body associates it with being awake. When blue light strikes our retinas during the day, a signal is sent to produce cortisol, which is the hormone that gives us the feeling of alertness, pleasure and stress control.

When we aren’t being exposed to blue light, after about half an hour, our body switches over to producing the hormone, melatonin. Melatonin and cortisol hormones are the balance between day and night, allowing for us to be alert during the day and calm, rested and recovering during the night. Having the balance between cortisol and melatonin is crucial to having a proper circadian rhythm, which has proven to be needed for a healthy life. With a disrupted circadian rhythm, which comes from an unbalance of not enough blue light or too much blue light, there can be consequences. For many people, they may have elevated health risks or they may be feeling crabby, depressed, have bad coordination or just find it hard to think.

Some big reasons why people have disrupted circadian rhythms may be because of the shift they work or the environment they work in. For people who work third shift, they have their circadian rhythm flipped upside down with their nights being their days and their days being their nights. The environment people work in too can be a huge factor, day or night. On average, Americans today only spend 7% of their day outdoors or about 1.5 hours a day. So if you are indoors for work, and aren’t getting your need of stimulating blue light from the overhead lights, you could have a disrupted sleep cycle. This is because you aren’t having the stimulating light during the day.

At EPL, we design and install lighting systems that work to improve the quality of lighting in your business as well as promote health and wellness.  We work to optimize the space for your needs, and for the employees, students and patients who occupy the space, all while giving you an amazing reduction in energy costs.

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