Alex is the Head of Technology at LYS. He spent a moment with us to discuss his work at LYS.
Hi, Alex, it’s great to have you here with us today. Tell us a bit about yourself
I am originally from Siberia, Russia, but I have been living in the UK for the last 15 years. Ever since childhood, I have always been interested in technology and computers. I got my first computer at the age of 5. This led to me trying the BASIC programming language that came bundled with it. Then one thing led to another, and 20 years later here I am – creating mobile apps, web apps and all sorts of things in between.
You have been working on some exciting projects here at LYS. Tell us a bit more
The Healthy Light has been a particularly exciting project for me personally. Most of the lights that we have today, whether it is at home or in the office, are actually artificial lights. Now, artificial lighting is just kind of everywhere. We don’t think about it. But it could be a lot better. It’s not that smart and it does not do a lot of things.
The idea is to have lighting that is smart and healthy for us without having to think about it. We could imagine walking into a building and the light just comes on. It’s the right kind of light that I want and the light that I need given the time of the day. If I’m about to go to bed, it will not be too bright and it will not cause discomfort. Something that is truly personalised, focused on health, smart and user-friendly, is really missing in the market. Fortunately, LYS is bridging that gap.
For those who are less familiar, LYS offers a lighting integration technology that connects the LYS App with any smart light using Bluetooth. The LYS app automatically detects smart lights and adjusts colour temperature and brightness in real-time to provide healthy light exposure by the means of personalised human-centric lighting recipes.
What could you tell us about the new LYS app? What new functionalities does it offer?
There are 2 key features to the new app. One is the understanding: helping you notice what impact the light has on you that is based on who you are, your preferences and your lifestyle. Understanding how light might affect not just your sleep, but also your mood, your energy levels, and just your life in general. Again, light is around us all the time, but we don’t really think about it, we just take it for granted.
The second feature is acting on this information and improving your lifestyle. Now you know what effect it has on you and you can actually improve the indoor environment by turning any smart light into a Healthy Light. We get closer to the situation where the light just follows you. So that is the Healthy Light feature that integrates with smart artificial lighting.
In addition, it also helps with recommendations on changing your habits, changing your lifestyle, and sleep schedule if you want to. But with Healthy Light, it is also something simple that just works.
In your opinion, what is the added value of technology and data-powered tools in personalised health and lighting?
Technology adds the extra layer of personalisation. It follows you, your lifestyle and your sleep-wake times. The technology and data make the whole system smarter, but it should not stand in the way of the user. It should be balanced: smart, automated, intuitive, not too complicated or interfere too much with our daily lives. So we should not bring technology for the sake of technology, but we should use technology as a method to make things better. So technology here is the means to an end, but it’s not the end.
A question to all of our team members: what have you learned about your internal body clock? Are you a Night Owl or a Morning Lark?
Before my work at LYS, I did not really think about what kind of impact light has on me. But once I joined, I realised what a huge effect it can have. I’m a night owl and I would usually go to bed later. But I noticed that I could change the usual bedtime to an earlier one by just having the lights change. I understood why I sometimes struggle to wake up in the morning and why I struggle to go to bed at night. Understanding this, keeping a more constant routine and playing around with lights has really helped me to feel better. I am more energetic, and in a way also a happier person.