Semiconductor USA

September 17, 2021

Samsung’s New Lighting Packages Support Circadian Rhythm

As humans spend more time indoors, there’s an increasing need for human-centric lighting, or HCL—lights that support our circadian rhythms and accommodate a variety of indoor activities.

What qualifies lighting as being “human-centric”? First, it should improve indoor lighting quality—no more of those headache-inducing, flickering fluorescents. Second, human-centric lights must enhance melatonin production at ideal levels.

Recently, Samsung Electronics’ LM302N line [1] was awarded the world’s first certification for a human-centric lighting package by Verband der Elektrotechnik (VDE, based in Frankfurt, is a world-recognized certification body). This certification establishes the LM302N as a superior lighting package in the rapidly growing HCL market.

What criteria are evaluated when granting HCL certification? Verband der Elektrotechnik looks at the following attributes:
• Light source power efficiency—how much energy is used
• Color Rendering Index (CRI)—how well a light source reveals color, compared to an ideal or natural light source
• Melanopic Daylight Efficiency Ratio (MDER)—how well a light source modulates melatonin production[2] —and here is where the Samsung LM302N line really shines[3]

As you probably know, melatonin is the hormone produced by the human brain to initiate the onset of sleepiness. Melatonin inhibition is the body’s ability to suppress melatonin when it’s NOT time to sleep.

Ideally, a higher Melanopic Daylight Efficiency Ratio (MDER) leads to higher melatonin inhibition, and thus, increased alertness.

Conversely, a lower MDER should lead to a lower melatonin inhibition (more melatonin production) and a natural onset of restful sleep.

How do human-centric lights accomplish this? You might have heard about how blue light (emitted by all the smartphones, tablets, and computers that we use) can interfere with sleep. That’s because the blue and green portions of the visible light spectrum have the greatest effect on melatonin secretion—this is why you often hear sleep experts recommending that computer users wear blue light-blocking glasses.

In the case of our LM302N line, we offer two complementary lighting packages – DAY and NIGHT.

LM302N DAY can help suppress melatonin secretion through increased levels of blue and green light, while LM302N NITE minimizes melatonin inhibitors to enhance rest and relaxation by reducing that same part of the spectrum.
Even at varying luminosity levels (brightness), both the DAY and NITE packages offer MDER levels that aid the body in time-appropriate melatonin production levels.

The LM302N DAY can suppress the body’s melatonin levels by more than 18% (compared to conventional LED lighting), providing a greater sense of alertness. The DAY package comes in color temperatures ranging from 3000K to 6500K, perfect for schools, offices, libraries and industrial sites.

The LM302N NITE can provide a proper level of brightness without hindering the release of melatonin: approximately 5% more melatonin than conventional LED packages. The LM302N NITE is offered in color temperatures between 1800K and 4000K.

And good news for lighting manufacturers: utilizing the Samsung LM302N package options in lighting systems can accelerate HCL certification from Verband der Elektrotechnik.

[1] In mass production since March 2020.
[2] Assuming the same illuminance of a standard D65 light source.
[3] We’re sorry.