Can the Drift Light help you sleep better? (Review)
Studies have shown that too much of a good thing, even innocently-blue light, can be bad for you. In this case, it's your sleep. Can a simple LED light bulb improve your sleep quality? Read on!
Ever since the advent of televisions and CRT monitors, extra blue light has been creeping into our evenings. Back before electricity, only fire and candlelight existed after dark. And humans (and other species here on Earth) are pretty well-tuned to get ready for sleep as the blue sky turns to oranges, pinks and reds as the sun begins to set. (Heck, even my backyard chickens hop up onto their "sleeping perch" automatically about an hour or so before sunset, and I don't recall them ever watching one of my videos on this topic!) Extra blue light after sundown tends to throw off our sleep patterns and our circadian rhythms.
Even some LED lights can emit blue light into the mix of illumination in our lives. Usually, they're the poorly made ones, since white LED light is actually made from blue light. Special blue LEDs coated with phosphors convert the blue light into the yellow-white light that our eyes have been used to for many, many years from incandescent light sources.
Better sleep through better light?
So how does a product like the Drift Light help you sleep better and reduce blue light? First, it uses LEDs that are more specifically tuned to emit as little as blue light as possible. This is at least partially accomplished by having the bulb emit a warmer tone of light than most "warm white" or "soft white" LED bulbs. (Specs say 2700K but it looks like 2600K.) Second, special long dimming cycles built-in to the bulb approximate sunset by lowering the light level over 37 minutes (the average length of a sunset). One cycle dims all the way to off, and a second one dims down to "moonlight" mode. (I like to call it "night light" mode.) That's right, the Drift Light helps you to just "drift off to sleep". Alright, alright, I'll stop. (Hey, I didn't name the product, I'm just here writing about it.)
How do you activate these special modes? Not with an app or with a smart home hub. Just flip the light switch off and back on again twice for the "dim to off" mode, and three times for "dim to night light" mode. The bulb itself will blink to confirm the mode you placed it in, once for "off" and twice for "night light". The Drift Light will dim down to its appropriate setting smoothly and without flicker, and maintain its color temperature (warm light) all the way down.
At $32 per bulb, the Drift Light can be more expensive than basic remotely-controllable smart bulbs from other vendors. And one other issue with the product is that once you've initiated the dimming cycle, you're pretty much committed to it. If you flip the switch to turn the bulb back on to full brightness, you'll have to start the dimming process completely over again.
But overall, this could be a good solution for those who wish to keep things simple at home but yet still want to make use of some high-tech lighting products. Oh, and to perhaps try to improve your sleep quality.
Want to try one out? Bring one home using this Amazon link and help support the show.
Disclosure: Saffron / Sewell Direct sent Smarter Home Life several Drift Lights to make this review possible.