Biological Enlightenment

Most have heard of "enlightenment" as in spiritual, but few are likely to be as familiar with "bio-enlightenment" as in body-mind health and disease prevention.

"Man does not live by bread alone . . .  he also lives on light."

  • Humans are photobiotic ‘solar beings’ — absolutely dependent on the absorption of vital solar radiation.
  • We are human photocells whose ultimate biological nutrient is sunlight.
  • Every metabolic process is regulated and augmented by sunlight energy.
  • LIGHT is Life Energy!

The current science of photobiology, the study of the effects of light on living organisms can be traced to ancient cultures through their use of color and light for healing. More recently, light (therapy) for healing and health was in vogue until the discovery of penicillin and the world of pharmaceuticals. As a matter of fact, Niels Ryberg Finsen, a physician and scientist of Icelandic descent was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases with concentrated light radiation.

Today light for health and disease prevention is again beginning to be rediscovered. Every day, more people become interested in the potential benefits of light and dark and its effects on human health and wellbeing. Lighting characteristics that are effective to the circadian system are different than those effective to the visual system.

Biological rhythms that repeat approximately every 24 hours are called circadian rhythms. Light is the main stimulus that helps the circadian clock, and thus circadian rhythms, keep a synchronized rhythm with the 24-hour solar day. Humans need to be exposed to a sufficient amount and quality of light for the biological clock to remain synchronized with the solar day. If lack of synchrony or circadian disruption occurs, we may experience decrements in physiological functions, neurobehavioral performance, and sleep.

Light entering our eyes regulates vital circadian rhythms that control appetite, energy, mood, sleep, libido and other body-mind functions. 

In addition to circadian rhythms, expanding photobiology research is discovering that varying light wavelengths (colors) can elicit biological responses much like a vitamin or nutrient. As a matter of fact . . . light is a nutrient. The wrong kind of light can absolutely contribute to adverse health just as the right kind can help support good health.

The fact that so many are literally in the dark about light's vital relationship with health is a cause of serious concern and the cornerstone of our non-profit mission to raise awareness of mal-illumination. Mal-illumination is brought about by limiting our daily intake of balanced, full-spectrum daylight and supplementing it with too much artificial 'limited-spectrum' indoor light.

Mal-illumination silently contributes to many health issues, some quite serious —obesity, depression, fatigue, sleep and eating disorders as well as breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Like malnutrition, mal-illumination causes deficiencies by depriving us of the sun's energetic nutrient wavelengths referred to as photo-nutrition.

Warnings associated with blue light emitted from cell phones, computers, LED light bulbs and other electronics has been all over the news lately. We now know that too much blue light, especially at night can affect sleep and contribute to other health issues. And there's growing awareness that new LED lighting technology is lacking critical light wavelengths essential to health, especially vision and macular degeneration concerns.

Blue light aside, on the other end of the spectrum, red and invisible near infrared light (NIR) has a major beneficial impact in terms of health especially for your eyes and cell energy. NIR helps prime the cells in the retina for ‘repair and regeneration’ and helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and is vital to the production of energy on the cellular level.

Molecules that absorb NIR light are found in your mitochondria. Mitochondria, found in most cells, can be considered the power generators of the cell, converting oxygen and nutrients into cellular energy ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the fuel your cells need for all of their varied functions, including metabolism.

Don’t be in the dark about your health. Lighten up!


— Dr. John Ott, Photobiology Pioneer

 Science of Light is a non-profit organization on a mission to raise awareness of the vital importance of natural light for health and to provide the technology to reduce the risk of the silent epidemic — MAL-ILLUMINATION.

May We Enlighten You?


7/19/2017 9:00:00 PM
Ken Ceder
Written by
I'm a health science researcher focused on biologically beneficial light since 1987 and the founder and past president of Ott Light Systems in Santa Barbara, CA. Currently, I am the executive director of Science of Light, a 501 (c)3 non-profit based in Peoria, Arizona.
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