In a 15-country sampling of office environments taken by Grand Rapids furniture maker Steelcase in 1991, eyestrain was the primary concern of workers around the world, ahead of video-display terminal (VDT) radiation and repetitive-strain injury. But while monitor emissions have since been reduced, and keyboards now come equipped with strain preventers, light bulbs have remained pretty much the same since Edison.
Now comes the Bio-Lite, which bathes a desktop in a true-to-nature re-creation of the sunlight in an early-morning sky. In transforming conventional alternating current to direct current, the Bio-Lite amplifies the output of a regular 60-watt bulb into an eye-soothing full-spectrum source of glare-free illumination. And it eliminates the drowse-inducing flicker of incandescent and fluorescent lighting, thus enhancing productivity.
The Bio-Lite was invented in Japan by the Hayashibara Biotechnology Institute to help stem deterioration in the vision of Japanese schoolchildren. The institute holds 30 patents and in a demonstration lighted an entire building with the Bio-Lite. But the eight-pound device is not yet commercially available as a ceiling fixture. A desk model is sold for about $200 in the United States by Bio-Lite Marketing (800-678-8181).
For "Lighting in the Healthy Office," a free 18-page white paper from Steelcase on the effects of light quality on office output, error rate, and morale, call 800-333-9939 and request publication #1810.