"Did you know that the lightest office in the Netherlands is on the High Tech Campus no 10?", Says Maarten Voorhuis van Sparckel, part of Fronthouse Innovative Concepts B.V. We certainly do, because the daylight lamps are lit in his office in our hub Mu on the HTCE!
In the Sparckel office at High Tech Campus 10, five lamps of the start-up stand and hang in the space of 36 square meters, and it is fully equipped with windows on two sides. Those windows do not provide the required amount of light by far, says Voorhuis: "It is about the light from the lamps." In forty seconds Voorhuis shows how the light mimics the day and night rhythm. Amber light in the early morning to wake up to. During the morning activating, bluer light is added. After noon the light gets warmer. “We make more colorful drawings in that light than in the whole activating one. It seems to be better for your creativity. "In the evening the light intensity decreases further as a signal that it is time to take it easy and go to sleep.
First sunny spring day
Working from home is the motto today. It seems logical that this requires a responsible workplace. But that you are more productive and feel better through enough light, is less obvious. “We stay healthy if we have a good day and night rhythm and our biological clock reacts to light. Compare it with the energy you get on the first sunny spring day after a gray winter period. "The internal daily rhythm is genetically determined and varies per person, for example there are morning and evening people. “Our biological clock has evolved over millions of years. At the time, people mainly lived outside. "" The industrial revolution changed that, Voorhuis said. "We are now 90 percent inside." And our biological clock is not designed for that: "If you want to keep your biological clock happy, we will all have to talk about how much light falls on our eye . '' The number of lux is the measure of brightness, one lux is the amount of light from a candle at a meter distance. A sunny day with direct sunlight has 100 thousand lux, a cloudy day 10 thousand. Actually, everyone should use a light meter to experience how much light you get in, says Voorhuis. ,, You can buy it for 35 euros or download it for free on your smartphone. The latter possibility is less accurate, but it does give a good sense of proportion. "
According to winter depression specialist Ybe Meesters, clinical psychologist at the University of Groningen, a healthy rhythm requires that 1000 lux falls on your eye. A standard office space often has a lux of 500 on your desk. European workplace lighting standards are mainly based on the amount of light you need to do your job. "We have known since 2002 that light is also healthy." "Then researchers discovered that our eyes communicate with our biological clock via a separate nerve path, says Voorhuis. In 2007 Voorhuis worked at Philips Lighting and went to hospitals with the message that light is healthy. "Medical professionals found the story very credible." "Only paying for healthy light was a second:" Then the response was often: "We don't want it that much. Why is it so expensive anyway? "
208 LED lights
Voorhuis still gets that question. “What we have to get rid of is that you buy a lamp. You buy light. "Sparckel's lighting consists of 208 LED lights and a chip with which the light follows a rhythm. There is a whole construction of 196 lights that provide direct light and 12 lights that are aimed at the ceiling for indirect light. "In this way, we prevent the light from being too bright and from squeezing your eyes." "A three and a half kilogram aluminum-made luminaire serves as cooling," otherwise you will never get that amount of light. " There are different models, including a standing and hanging version.
Technology separate from the building
What made it so expensive ten years ago was that the technology surrounding that biodynamic light was part of the building, Voorhuis continues. "I thought twice if we were to remove the technology from a building." "That was in 2011 and the seed for Sparckel was planted," says Voorhuis. ,, You can plug this healthy light everywhere and take it with you when you move. I often heard decision-makers in elderly care say that because of all kinds of cutbacks, they did not want to invest that much money in an old building. There were also difficult discussions about who is the owner and user of a building. I thought if I disconnect that then I will be rid of it. " Voorhuis compliments the ecosystem of the Brainport region. Together with TU / e and Fontys, he further developed the lighting concept and put it on the market. In addition to Voorhuis, there are two more people on Sparckel's pay-roll. “But we work together with designers from GBO design. Our electronics and software are developed by software specialist Peter Compen and we do the production and assembly at INNO metal & assembly. "The start-up for electronics and engineering also works together with Phuntronix from Soesterberg.
The start-up has clients in the healthcare sector, among others, and Sparckel appears in offices. The light also helps to give you an extra push. “One of my clients is a law firm. I know that when she has to plead the next day, some lawyers give themselves a boost of activating light and work through the evening to finish the pleading note. "" That boost does have an effect on your sleep, because, Voorhuis says, " , Do not expect to be able to sleep immediately afterwards. You also have to reduce that active light to calmer light. With that boost you consciously manipulate your rhythm. GGZ Eindhoven and Tilburg University also conducted research in 2018 with Sparckel's biodynamic light. This shows that the light has an inhibiting effect on dementia. There is currently a major investigation into the effect of the light on the office staff of a large Dutch company. "I can't say anything about that yet, except that the results are promising."