SORAA ZeroBlue - An Interview with Shuji Nakamura, PhD

April 2019 (last updated May 2022) - by SORAA

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Since SORAA’s founding by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Shuji Nakamura in 2008, the company’s story of innovation in lighting technology and science has brought spaces to life with industry-leading color rendering precision, perfect whites and a growing portfolio of fixtures, lamps and accessories.

SORAA continues its quest in bringing breakthrough products to the lighting industry with a robust portfolio of entirely blue-free LED lamps – SORAA ZeroBlue™ (editor's note: formerly SORAA HEALTHY™) – equipping lighting professionals to illuminate spaces. The result? 100% blue-free light promoting more restful sleep, all while maintaining SORAA’s superior light quality.

Below, Dr. Nakamura shares his passion for the new technology in SORAA ZeroBlue™, while also articulating an exciting vision for how light and health can continue to more seamlessly integrate as lighting technology advances.

What makes SORAA ZeroBlue™ lighting solutions truly “healthy” light sources?

DR. NAKAMURA: Researchers recently found the sleep-related hormone, melatonin, may decrease when we see blue LED light. In other words, if we use white light made with blue LEDs at night, we may have increased difficulty falling asleep. At SORAA, we have been able to create white light with violet LEDs instead of blue, meaning people can still enjoy beautiful white light without the intensity of blue.

How do you think blue-free lighting options will revolutionize the lighting industry?

DR. NAKAMURA: No other LED or lighting manufacturer has ever designed a completely blue-free light source. Thanks to SORAA’s patented technology, we are revolutionizing LED science with a uniquely engineered mix of green and red phosphors to produce a spectrum with a wide gap in the blue range—a major first for the industry that will only improve future light sources that support natural human health.

How do these newly introduced products reflect your vision for improving light sources?

DR. NAKAMURA: When my dream of engineering a perfect LED became a reality, I was excited to see what I could accomplish next. By perfecting the technology within each SORAA ZeroBlue™ product, we are providing lamps that emit quality light without negatively impacting human health and sleep. SORAA’s introduction of blue-free lamps will transform the way people think about light on a daily basis, especially when they notice improvements in their sleep and health. Many people use white LEDs or other light sources made with blue light at night, therefore disrupting their sleep. At SORAA, we use violet light in our LED lamps instead. People can now enjoy beautiful light without the presence of harmful blue light at night when rest matters most.

How are SORAA solutions different from other light sources claiming to have healthy attributes?

DR. NAKAMURA: SORAA is the only LED manufacturer capable of producing white light entirely free from blue emission in its healthy products, resulting in our ability to more directly and positively impact the human circadian rhythm. In addition, our proprietary color science and technology allow us to create our signature quality of light and color rendering through an approach that blends CRI, TM-30 and our own calculation method to render white tones.

Why are healthy lighting solutions so important for environments and people now?

DR. NAKAMURA: From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, we spend the majority of our waking hours indoors which means we’re constantly being exposed to artificial light with a blue spike in the spectrum. This may be great for daytime hours when we want to be productive and alert, but as the day progresses into the evening, blue light becomes a melatonin inhibitor, that isn’t good in supporting proper sleep and overall health. To address this challenge, we are now entering a new era of healthy lighting options, first with our completely blue-free products, but we will soon start to see dynamic light solutions enter the market taking our technology one step further in developing products that most closely match light found only in nature as well as additional intelligence that make them aware and proactive.

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