Learn How Light Can Either Sabotage or Enhance Your Health

I have been “preaching” that sunlight is important.  But I recently learned it’s even more vital to our functioning our best than I’d fathomed.

The creation of the world began with the creation of light.

Genesis 1:1-3:   “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light.

Light played a crucial role in the formation of the universe.  Light is essential to everything we see, feel, and experience.

Without light there would be no life on the planet.  There would be no sound because there wouldn’t be organized matter to vibrate.

All life gets energy from the sun.[1]

Picture a campfire at night.  You would think that the sun has nothing to do with the light from the fire, correct? 

However, there is stored energy in the wood that resulted from collecting energy from the sun, which it’s been accumulating since it was a seedling.  This is what we know as photosynthesis.

Basically, the wood in the campfire is recreating light that came from the sun because of its ability to collect energy from the sun.  It’s re-emitting the sun’s energy.[2]

How cool is that!  I didn’t know this. 

Likewise as human beings we depend on natural light for our very existence.

All of our cells have “batteries,” also known as mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells.  They generate 90 percent of the body’s energy and enable the cells to perform vital functions – motility, transport of ions, synthesis of products, metabolism…[3]

Now what’s most interesting is:  “Approximately two thirds of this energy production comes directly from near infrared light exposure (a part of the invisible portion of the sunlight spectrum), and a mere one third from the food we eat.” [4]

I still believe eating well is essential and I stand by all the blogs I have written.  But food is at most a third of our energy source.

That’s why I stated at the outset that sunlight is much more important for complete health than I imagined.  

We need the full spectrum of sunlight, both what’s visible to our eyes and what’s not.

 When you look at the rainbow spectrum, the visible part ends in the red and the infrared-A (or the so-called near-infrared) begins. Then we have infrared-B (mid-infrared) and then infrared-C (far-infrared).

Our eyes and skin are designed to receive these light frequencies of the sun even though we can’t see them.

Rays strike the optic nerve, which signals the pituitary gland, triggering the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate our bodily functions.

Our ancestors spent most of their time outside getting the full spectrum of light, and consequently were much healthier than we are today.

The majority of us spend most of our days inside.  We get an overabundance of blue light without RED and infrared.

If we are to achieve optimal health, we need to:

  1. Increase our exposure to natural light.
  2. REDUCE our exposure to the wrong kinds of light.

Number 1. Increase exposure to natural light.  This means getting outside more…and more…and more.

The spectrum of natural sunlight changes throughout the day and also throughout the seasons.

The human body uses these wavelengths for our circadian rhythms to function properly [5], for hormone production (including Vitamin D), for feeding and giving oxygen to the cells, for cellular respiration, and for antioxidant production.

It’s essential we get the full spectrum, as God designed in creation.

The natural spectrum during the day contains large amounts of visible light (52-55%), near infrared light (~43%), and trace amounts of UVA and UVB radiation (3-5%).[6]

When you are inside and when possible, open windows to let sunlight in.  Many windows today block the UV rays and some block the Infrared too.

For more ways to increase sunlight exposure, check out my blog:  Sunlight!  The purest, richest multivitamin available.  And it’s free.

Number 2.  REDUCE our exposure to the wrong kinds of light.  This means going back to using incandescent and halogen bulbs.

Absolutely NO CFLs or fluorescent tubes.  I am not going to go into why in this article, except to say they contain mercury and mercury is one of the most toxic substances on our planet.

LEDs (which we’ve been led to believe are best for us and the environment) appear practical because they save energy and are very robust.

But we are not aware of all the harmful hidden properties.  They’re harmful to our mental health, our retinal health, and our hormonal health.

The light emitted from an LED is not the same quality that comes from a natural light source.  A natural light source normally gives off all kinds of wavelengths in a more or less continuous manner.

The LEDs we have nowadays consist of a blue LED, a driver LED, and a fluorescent sheet, which covers the blue LED and transforms part of the blue light into longer wavelengths, yellowish light. The yellowish light from the fluorescent layer combines together with the residual blue light to create a kind of whitish light, which consists of a lot of aggressive blue light.[7]

Blue has the highest energy in the visible part of the spectrum and causes oxidative stress in the tissue, creating a need for tissue regeneration.  But the regenerative part of the spectrum is found in the long wavelength part of the sun’s spectrum, in the red and the near infrared, which are not part of the LED lighting.[8]

So LEDs damage our tissue while preventing regeneration from occurring.

And LED’s block our production of melatonin.  Whereas sunlight exposure increases the production of serotonin (the precursor for melatonin).

And with more serotonin reserves, we’re able to produce more melatonin…which results in better sleep and better overall health and mood.

Blue light (which we get from LEDs and ALL of our devices) in the evening reduces the melatonin production in the pineal glands and in our retinas.  We have cells in our retina, which are responsible for producing melatonin in order to regenerate the retina during the night.

If we use LED lights or electronic devices after sunset, we reduce the regenerative and restoring capacities of our eyes.   With less regeneration, we open the door to degeneration.  This is the age-related macular degeneration, or yet another potential cause for it.

LEDs also have an imperceptible flicker.

The imperceptible light flicker can cause eye strain that leads to headaches and ultimately to hormone disruption because of stress on the hypothalamus/pituitary glands.

These glands depend on the eyes for signals from the light environment to regulate circadian biology and the central nervous system (whether we should be in a “rest and digest” mode or a “fight or flight stress response” state).

What’s worse is the president of the United States just banned incandescent light bulbs.  At the time of this writing I don’t have a clear picture of how that is going to play out.

But I need to inform you of what we want, what’s best for our health.

I am consolidating the information as best I can to give you the nuts and bolts to help you and your family achieve optimal health.

The ideal light source for reading at night according to Alexander Wunsch, PhD, world class expert on photobiology, is a low-voltage incandescent halogen lamp, which is operated on a DC (direct current) transformer.

DC will eliminate all the dirty electricity and flicker.  There are transformers available where you can adjust the output between 6 volts and 12 volts.  You will be able to dim the halogen lamp into a color temperature which is comparable to candlelight.  Candlelight being the best for nighttime activities.

This is the softest, the healthiest electric light you can get at the moment.  And it’s several times more energy efficient than LEDs.[9]

Halogen is an incandescent bulb that has an analog thermal light source.  It’s not digital.  [I am sorry.  analogue and digital is another discussion which needs to take place, but I am not going to go into it here.]

It is up to 100 percent more energy efficient compared to the standard incandescent lamp.  You have better energy use all around.

It is only with DC though because the AC always produces dirty electricity.  What’s more, if you run a low-voltage incandescent lamp on AC, you have twenty times more dirty electricity compared to running a high-voltage one on AC.  With DC, there is no dirty electricity.

Regardless of whether you’re using AC or DC, this bulb provides the near-infrared radiation needed for ATP (or energy) production, melatonin production, and retina support. 

The other big concern is OUR DEVICES – our computer screens, cell phone screens, tablets, e-readers, TVs…

They’re almost all LED based.

And we’re using them almost every waking hour.

What can we do to mitigate all this blue light?  Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Switch to incandescent or halogens as discussed above. Ideally, this would be using DC versus AC, but don’t let not achieving the ideal deter you from making this switch.  Nor the fact that here in the US, our president just banned incandescent bulbs.
  • Buy blue light blocking glasses AND use them once the sun goes down if you are exposed to anything more than candlelight.
  • Use an f.lux software on your computer and other devices. This may not be as effective as the glasses because glasses block out the short wavelengths (which we don’t want at night) even better.
  • Buy a flicker detector. Check every electrical lighting appliance before you buy it and bring it into your home.  If you hear an awful buzz or an awful noise, that’s a clear sign that your light source is flickering and distributing dirty photons.
  • If you don’t want to buy a flicker detector, then try using your phone and taking a video of light sources in your environment, using the slow motion setting.
  • Get OLED screens with good dimming technology.
  • “Candle down” at night.
  • . Candling down means turning off all white/blue light when the sun starts to set.  Have lights in your house that are red/orange just like the light a fire or a candle would emit (amber).  This keeps cortisol down and allows melatonin to come up.  If amber lighting isn’t possible, at least switch to blue blocking glasses and use f.lux app or something similar on your devices (mobile phone, tablet, computer, etc), as mentioned above.
  • If you’re going to continue using LEDs, look for non-flicker LEDs.
  • Reduce screen time. Best yet, avoid screens after dark.

One point I want to clarify.  It’s not the blue light coming from the sun itself that we should be concerned about.

It’s the blue light, the singular HEV (or high energy visual light), which comes from cold energy-efficient light sources.  This is what causes the problem, not the blue light which comes together with longer wavelengths in a natural mixture the way God created light. 

If you want to sleep well and reduce unwanted inflammation, stick with candles and with incandescent and halogen bulbs.

Sleeping better can also help with many other health issues:  constipation, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, leaky gut, inability to lose weight, anxiety, depression, and probably almost any issue you can name.

Because when we sleep, we heal and restore. 

Lastly a quote from Joseph Mercola, MD:  “We already have an epidemic of obesity. Heart disease. Cancer.  Alzheimer’s. We’re going to have an epidemic of blindness unless we can get ourselves away from these chronic unopposed blue digital light sources, especially at night.

Just like cigarettes, it’s not going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.  It’s this chronic exposure.  We need decades of this exposure before we’re going to see it… But it doesn’t diminish the danger and the damage any less.”

Please feel free to write a comment if you know of additional ways to reduce our exposure to unhealthy light.

Or if you can share a testimony of how increasing exposure to natural light and reducing exposure to the wrong kinds of light has helped you.

Thank you and be well.

Peace and grace,

Karen

[1] Brian Hoyer, personal communication, May 18, 2023

[2] Ibid

[3] https://bengreenfieldlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Interview-AlexanderWunsch-TheDangersofLEDLighting.pdf

[4] Ibid

[5] Circadian rhythms are the approximate 24-hour patterns our bodies and brains go through, allowing for changes in the body’s physical and mental states, along with mood and behavioral changes.

The most notable circadian rhythms are our sleep/wake cycle, digestion, hormone activity, body temperature, and immune function.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/circadian-rhythms

[6] file:///E:/Documents,%20moved%207-28-21/GAPS/Webinars,%20Graduate/2023/Interview-AlexanderWunsch-TheDangersofLEDLighting.pdf

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] file:///E:/Documents,%20moved%207-28-21/GAPS/Webinars,%20Graduate/2023/Interview-AlexanderWunsch-TheDangersofLEDLighting.pdf

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Enjoy these favorite dishes. 
 
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Plus monthly REAL food tips & inspiration right to your inbox!
 
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