Innovation That Matters

Smart lightbulb looks to emulate the rhythms of the sun for better sleep

Work & Lifestyle

The Drift is a smart lightbulb that aims to emulate a more natural lighting experience in an effort to improve health and wellbeing.

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Electric lighting has brought so many benefits to society that it’s often easy to overlook the potential damage it may have caused. Before electricity, humans relied primarily on the sun as a light source, and the Drift lightbulb is now seeking to emulate a more natural lighting experience in an effort to improve health and wellbeing.

Before going to sleep, most people would simply turn off their lights. Research has shown, however, that lying in total darkness isn’t actually the best way to drift off. Rather, a gradual dimming of light is a better signal to the body that it’s time to sleep. To address this, the Drift has a “Midnight Mode”, which fades from bright light to darkness over 37 minutes — the average duration of a sunset. Alternatively, the bulb also offer a “Moonlight Mode”, which simply dims the lights — again, over the course of 37 minutes — and then holds them at a reduced brightness in a soft, ambient glow.

It isn’t just the strength of the light that the Drift looks to address, but also the light temperature. The light emitted from electronic devices and some energy efficient bulbs has a bluish hue, which is detrimental to sleep. The Drift solves this problem by reducing the amount of blue light emitted, which increases melatonin and helps preparation for sleep. You can see the bulb in action below.

The Drift, which is built from a tough protective plastic, can be installed into any standard Edison socket and used with a lightswitch — unlike many other smart bulbs which require a smartphone for operation. Users then simply use the switch once, twice, or three times to carry out different commands. It is available for USD 29 from the Drift website.

How else could modern technology be adapted to bring us back to a more natural existence?



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