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A Spectrally Dynamic Berth Light for Active Circadian Cycle Management

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
DARPA 08-055
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Energy Focus, Inc.
32000 Aurora Road Solon, OH 44139-2875
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: A Spectrally Dynamic Berth Light for Active Circadian Cycle Management
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: N10PC20124
Award Amount: $749,933.00


A significant amount of personal injury and property damage as well as lost productivity could be avoided by speeding up the body's adjustment cycle to new circadian schedules or re-synchronizing body schedules that have slipped or advanced. For the military, this problem is especially acute because the warfighters' duties include dangerous equipment and a need for 24-hour operational readiness. The current navy submarine berth light is inadequate and often detrimental for circadian management. Like many fixtures, the control is limited to 'dumb' on/off of the white light. The white light does not accomplish the circadian resetting avoidance that amber light does, while darkness does not provide any illumination for near-sleep or relaxing activities in the berth. The white light does not maximize circadian resetting upon waking as much of the energy is circadian spectrally ineffective and the brightness is often overwhelming, while darkness is obviously even less effective. The full on or full off does not provide smooth transitions between states, and the lamp cannot turn itself on/off independently after being programmed to do so by the user. The technical problem being addressed is how best to use a berth light to positively impact navy submariners' circadian cycles.

Principal Investigator:

Roger Buelow
Chief Technology Officer

Business Contact:

Nicholas Berctold
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

Energy Focus, Inc
32000 Aurora Road Solon, OH 44139

EIN/Tax ID: 943021850
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No