Learn what’s new with LED technology — it now mimics sunlight, integrates with building controls and more

by Brianna Crandall — June 16, 2017 — Recognizing that the best light comes from nature, lighting technology provider Ketra has developed what it calls the most advanced lighting system in the world that precisely mimics the color temperature and intensity of natural light. Ketra light-emitting diodes (LEDs) dynamically shift throughout the day, providing the full range of sunlight — crisp and bright during the day, soft and warm at night. The inventive lights provide wellness benefits of natural light to indoor occupants, synchronizing their circadian rhythms to support better health and rest.

Building on its successful results of providing natural light to impressive commercial spaces with brands that include Google, Pinterest, Whole Foods Market, and more, Ketra is introducing its proprietary solutions to the high-end residential market. The launch is part of a broader trend towards specifying building materials and products that only offer an elegant design statement, but also contribute to the wellness of those inside the space.

In fact, a recent survey commissioned by Ketra and conducted by Harris Poll reveals that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans (89%) say that exposure to natural light has a major/moderate positive impact on mood, while 87% say that exposure to natural light has a positive impact on productivity, alertness, and brain function. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (79%) say that they wish they were able to spend more time outdoors during the day to get more exposure to natural light.

The survey also signals a market appetite: Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans (73%) say that they would pay more for light bulbs if they knew the bulbs would have a positive impact on their health.

Nav Sooch, CEO of Ketra (and previously the co-founder of Silicon Labs, the semiconductor company whose chips are inside many popular consumer devices, according to a FORTUNE magazine article), a pointed out:

From the beginning of time, humans have evolved under two natural light sources: the sun and firelight. Light from these sources aids in regulating physical processes and helps maintain mental well-being by aligning the human body’s circadian rhythms. As the survey data and bodies of other research reveal, natural light offers myriad wellness benefits. It stands to reason that today’s commercial and residential spaces should offer this high-quality light indoors. Ketra does just that.

First-to-market technology

The ability to perfectly simulate sunlight, while maintaining consistency across every bulb in the space, is driven by the technology in each Ketra bulb, says the company. A proprietary semiconductor measures the bulb’s color 360 times a second, continuously ensuring that the light output across every bulb in the space is the exact color temperature of natural light, measured in degrees Kelvin.

Ketra natural light LED

Ketra wellness-enhancing natural light technology maintains precise color control and output, and integrates with IoT, automation and building control systems.

What’s more, this industry-leading technology facilitates a longer lifespan of the product: Ketra light bulbs last up to 30 years, significantly longer than standard LEDs. Ketra’s offerings maintain the precise color control not only throughout their lifetime, but they maintain the exact output as each other, so all bulbs are always emitting the same exact amount of color and light, another edge over standard LEDs that typically vary in color and change color as they age, notes the company.

A complete solution

Ketra is an integrated system of lighting, keypad interfaces, and software. The lighting products — light bulbs or “lamps,” and luminaires — communicate wirelessly to interfaces to control the light.

Among the company’s lighting products, the D3 Downlight portfolio offers several standout solutions — all exceptional options for new construction, says Ketra. The downlights are available with several trim options, including “mud in,” a hidden trim; “pinhole,” which enables a spotlight or narrow beam; and “wall wash,” which is excellent for highlighting artwork.

The interfaces allow for simple transitions between preset settings at the command of a facilities manager or as a scheduled event. The X2 touchpad can be ideal for retrofit installations as well as new construction, as it fits within a standard wall box.

The user can also control lights from a smartphone or tablet via the Ketra app. The N4 Hub — a small, black box — works behind the scenes to wirelessly connect Ketra fixtures with the control interfaces. Application Programming Interface (API) enables integration with a wide variety of building control, automation and Internet of Things (IoT) projects, including shade control and security systems.

See the “Lights are computers now, so the founder of Silicon Labs has a lighting startup” article in FORTUNE magazine to get a little background on Ketra and its founder, how LEDs are changing the market, and what makes Ketra distinct from other technology. Ketra’s About page also includes links to other articles and a Fox Business report.

To find a lighting showroom near you that distributes Ketra products, visit the company’s Contact page.