Optimized Lighting for Life with PlanLED’s John Park
Let the light shine.
John Park is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development of PlanLED.
Planled’s mission is to improve human life while reducing carbon. Planled partners with world-class electronics manufacturers to develop research applied lighting products. Converging the research findings with the most advanced SSL technology, they have been introducing ground breaking lighting technologies that has advanced the quality of life in various types of lighted environments.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now, we've got John Park, and, John, you are the VP of Sales and Business Development with PlanLED, thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.
So PlanLED came along with an interesting solution to a problem that I think a lot of people didn't realize we had. Would you mind kind of filling us in and explaining what that problem was that that PlanLED is fixing?
Yeah. Absolutely. So about 10 years ago, we were working with a variety of researchers that really understood the impact of lighting that extends beyond just the visual impact of helping us see. And so when we realized that the culture of lighting was quite opposite of what the researchers were sharing, as it pertains to visually optimized lighting, and also what we call human-centric lighting, we quickly realized there was a gap between what the market offered and what type of lighting was good for us throughout the course of the day, depending on the time of day. And so our goal was to be able to bridge that gap and create a vertical vertically integrated model where we're marrying what the research had to say, with what the manufacturers were producing, and began to share about this type of science and the type of impact that lighting can actually have beyond just the energy savings that was available to us.
And just so and kind of just explain a little bit about a journey. Just how big PlanLED is what kind of impact you've had since the beginning? Can you talk about some of the applications that you work in? And I think a few of these are going to be pretty well known by folks.
Absolutely. You know, some of the biggest projects that we were able to do, you know, starting from a pilot stage was being able to implement what we call tunable lighting, or variable lighting, where we were able to change both the dimming and or intensity and the color temperature to be able to match what the researchers were saying. So we were able to implement this in schools for example, where you know, the actual school district published on their website that there was a dramatic impact on standardized test scores greater than than they had ever seen before. Just from
from the temperature it's just from the is it from the color and or temp what we refer to as a temperature of light?
Yeah, so it has to do with actual when we get down to the nitty gritty, the spectral power or you know, where the most energy lies within the spectrum of lighting, we found that the blue light or you know what the researchers share between 460 and 490 nanometers was most impactful and allowing for us to be able to focus. And so this was really kind of what we call focus lighting or energizing lighting, lighting that's appropriate for when you're about to take a test versus the type of lighting you would find at a restaurant, a high end restaurant where it's really warm and romantic and you need a flashlight to be able to see the color of your steak. That type of lighting is really conducive to allowing for us to create melatonin the nighttime hormone Yeah, preparing us for rest, you know, relaxing.
And so in terms of where people would see this, so PlanLED is the official lighting for the New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners, among other maybe higher profile clients, anything else?
You know, we worked a lot with Boeing. We work a lot with hospital groups. We work a lot in you know, higher ed and K through 12 we want to be able to spread kind of the benefits that are available to us and the understanding of how those lights should be administered. And we want to be able to share that far and wide
All right, so and just so let's say that someone's listening to this and they say, okay, so john stocking some science here. I don't have PlanLED in my home office. But what are some best practices? I mean, if we just want to take advantage of the science is it simply using more blue light in the earlier times of day and at some time, we just kind of warm up the temperature then?
Absolutely. So I mean, I would say it's, it can be customized based upon what your lifestyle is when you work whether you work daytime or swing shift or you know, a graveyard shift, but by and large in the morning time when you get up. You want to be able to expose get exposed to blue and rich white light. So I would say a 5000 Kelvin or a you know, like a 65 100 Kelvin. And that allows for us to feel kind of alert and get going, you know, at the beginning of our days, and in general, it's a rule of thumb that since our phones and our tablets and our TVs and our laptops have this type of light, it's good to mitigate exposure to this type of light. So what we call blue depleted type of lights, yeah, warmer kind of color. In the evening time, the best thing is to not have any light which tells your body that it's time to rest. But if you do that, you know, right up until your bedtime, then your ability to feel tired and fall into a slumber is going to be greatly inhibited by doing that.
Yeah, so what I typically do so what's really great is most of our devices and modern day monitors now will have that either hopefully either built in or you can even use programs that will do that in your in the screens that we're looking at. And then I think you know, one step beyond that would be what I've done over the past several years is nighttime I just wear my bats, especially when I wear my glasses that have an amber tint to them. Just because I know I remember and I'll tell you I, I got this concept very clearly shooting video with a lot of bright LED lights in my face up until midnight. And then I lay down and even though I was tired, I could not get to sleep. And it took me hours before I could get my body there like what's going on? How come I'm not falling asleep here?
That's right. Yeah. So in so in a school so. So for a PlanLED installation. So you actually have lights that are automatically changing color throughout the day and they're just kind of set on a timer. Is that it?
Yeah, so there's a variety of different ways to do it. But for a school application, the teachers typically like to have control over their lights and far away from the students because what can be touched and played with will be touched and played with by students, right. So we live By their desk and we give them a little bit of education, hey, this is the type of light that we recommend. But you know, being human-centric, also wants to take into consideration your preference. So if this is something that's uncomfortable for you, then you could choose to, you know, change the color to suit your preference, and also to be able to dim it if it you know, if it affects the way that the
students can see the screen. Mm hmm. If I'm going to take a test and I need to be at peak, like peak mental state, I'm going to definitely want like a bluer light. Right? That's right. Okay. All right. Got the concept. All right, john, of course, you're you're in charge of business development and, and in sales. And so what does I mean, what do you spend your time doing? Or how do people find out about PlanLED?
Yeah, a lot of our you know, go to market strategy varies, but one of the big things that we do is something called shine. And if you go to our website, you'll be able to see that there are a lot of Hall of Famers. That With a relatively small, but you know, growing company like us. And so we work in partnership with sports teams, for example, you alluded to the Yankees and the Mariners and the Cardinals, the sharks, the avalanche, etc, we work with these platforms to be able to share about the impact of lighting. And we showcase that lighting at the arena or at the stadium where it begins usually at the clubhouse, so we give the good energizing type of lights to players before the game. And then we want to help them relax to be able to recover after the game. So there's that aspect. And then there's the you know, the visual benefits, the benefits of non flickering lights, that you know, help us just have a better experience overall at the arena or at the stadium. And so this is our showcase to be able to trumpet the Hey, we can do this at this level. And there are so many more people that pay attention to sports than science, for example. So we want to be able to use that as a platform to be able to share not only about sustainability and energy savings, but also the impact that you can make passively without having to take any medication or having to stick a needle in yourself or anything like that.
Yeah. So yeah, you know, again, you've had some some pretty big outfits at Pepsi center and in Denver, for example. Um, and so if Are you working on the lighting in the stadium itself? Or is it primarily in the locker rooms or the players are, or both.
So the Pepsi Center is a perfect example, the locker room, obviously, we talked about how we would be able to use that effectively for athletes, you know, the multi million dollar asset to any team. So being able to offer that type of, you know, advantages something that's huge right and that application, but also, for example, that the NBA has a different color preference purely based on the aesthetic than the NHL does and a lot of teams have both in NHL and an NBA team. So we offer that color tunability within the sports lighting so that the ice can look extremely an exquisitely white and sparkling for the NHL and warm and bringing out those Like those reddish orangish brown issues and accentuating that for the NBA, so it's a little bit different application there too.
And all these things as a consumer, you just you don't even notice maybe or you know, so, you know, you don't, you know, consciously notice what's going on, you're just like, wow, it's just so bright down there where all the action is. Right, right. And that's all someone is engineering the heck out of that.
There's no, there's a rhyme and a reason to it. And I think you're absolutely correct where people can walk into a building and just say, hey, this doesn't feel good. I don't know why it just does. It feels dingy or something like that. And when it comes to the old building, yeah, when it comes down to being able to explain and articulate the reasoning behind it, that's the part that's, you know, a little takes a little bit of work and, you know, science to be able to, you know, corroborate everything that we're talking about.
You know, I wonder if casinos want to get in on this action. Oh,
they're they've been on this for a long time. Yeah, I bet Want you to be fully maximally alert, they can take it to the next level with the oxygen and all that kind of stuff. They want you to be alert and happy and engaged.
Yeah. Does john How important is? So if you're within a specific industry, who are you typically targeting? And how do you get in front of them for like new new sales? new clients?
Yeah, I mean, a lot of times, because we, you know, we really want to improve human life. That's the core pillar of what we're doing, saying, we talked to an executive, you know, in human resources, for example, or an executive of the facilities or operation side, we don't talk about the energy savings because that's something that's generally understood in the market. We talked to them about the human-centric aspects of things and how we can if anything, just improve how it feels in their you know, in general. And so that starts to take a broader vantage point about how lighting can influence impact, you know, your organization in terms of how your employees feel productivity wise. absenteeism, presenteeism, all of these different things, that there's, you know, peer reviewed research to be able to support everything that we're talking about in terms of how someone feels really impacts their productivity. And at the end of the day, whether or not they're looking for something else.
So I would imagine just, you know, putting out thought leadership on this is probably pretty helpful or being, you know, just, you know, continuing to provide education to potential clients would probably work out pretty well. Have you done that type of work? Are you producing content? And if so, like, what are you doing to make sure that you're, you know, the person who's going to sign that check is consuming that content?
Absolutely. So, I mean, our big thing is we only have so much reach, you know, in the general market space. And so we are working with the researchers, the thought leaders, the guys, those guys are putting on, you know, seminars, speaking at symposiums at conferences, and so we're taking bits and pieces of their content and putting together video, you know, material that's that's generally understandable by the general public. So it's so it's not so complicated and nerdy. We want to make it so that the average person that doesn't know that much about lighting can watch it and be like, you know what, this can have a profound impact on me and my team.
Yeah. JOHN, one last question. So like in your daily life, like how does your knowledge of this science impact your day to day life like what what you do in the morning do you actually do anything consciously in the morning because you believe this and or, you know, when you go to night, like what go to bed at night, like what what do you do?
Absolutely. I tried to do what the, you know, how it's designed for the astronauts when they're in outer space because they have multiple, you know, basically sunrises and sunsets in 124 hour period, so their bodies get confused. So I just tried to take that knowledge in that application and start with very bright blue and red white light in the morning time while I drink my coffee. I don't think it can ever replace coffee for me, but has less than the amount of cups that I drink throughout the course of the day. And then the evening time, although it's hard, I really tried to set a hard kind of like time for me to stop looking at devices, television, things like that. And when I do if I'm reading, for example, using a dimmer, warmer light source, so that I can still read and have that visibility, but it's not alerting the brain that it's, you know, it's time to wake up and be productive when it's actually time for me to rest. So I try to live that as much as possible. But I'll admit it's not perfect yet.
You know, I believe that there's there's going to be a day when I think, you know, this is just, you know, common knowledge. And I think all consumers just say, hey, it's morning, it's time for blue light. Hey, it's evening. It's time for that more orange temperature. And you know, where it's just a just a very, very commonly accepted way that we all live because I listen, I mean, I could, I could tell you firsthand. From my own experience with this, you know about the impact of this and why not use science in this instance to live a better life?
Right, right. That's the whole thing. We want to improve life, whether it's for the athlete, the student, or for just the average worker, you can have a profound impact. And that's our goal is to be able to share that with everyone. So that like you said that it's generally understood as common practice everywhere. Excellent. Well, John Park, you are the VP of Sales and Business Development for PlanLED, and you're on the web at planled.com. Thank you so much for joining us. Hey, really appreciate you having me.
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