OSIN Loop Gen 1 – a light to match circadian rhythms (review)
The OSIN Loop is a desk lamp and App that changes colour to transition from cool white to warm amber depending on the time of day or night.
OSIN is a New Zealand company founded by Ralph Booth. The stated purpose of OSIN Loop is to make circadian alignment technology simple, easy, and accessible to everyone. They want to empower people to lift their energy, mood, and cognitive ability and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, well-aligned circadian rhythm.
The science behind OSIN Loop – circadian alignment
OSIN says that its light is backed by science, not marketing hype. We are not scientists and won’t argue that point. The US Government Centre for Disease Control and Prevention states
The Colour of the Light Affects the Circadian Rhythms
- Blue light has the strongest impact. Exposure to blue light (and white light, which contains blue light) during the sensitive period can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Exposure to white light during the day can have positive effects, including boosting alertness and mood.
- Red light does not affect the circadian clock, so you can use a dim red light at night.
- Yellow and orange light has little effect on the clock, so you can use a very dim yellow or orange light at night.
Where does blue light come from?
Blue Light is part of all light. It is more about the colour temperature (degrees Kelvin), which ranges from about 1000-7000° (warm to cool).
Blue light at home comes from fluorescent and LED lights, TV screens, computer monitors, tablets, mobile phones and electronic gadgets. The eye craves Blue Light simply because it has one of the shortest wavelengths. It makes us feel good, alert, and awake as it suppresses melatonin production, a hormone that controls the body’s circadian cycles.
The dark side, according to Harvard Medical School, is that blue light can affect the circadian rhythm clock that says it is time to go to bed and stay asleep. It recommends limited exposure to Blue light two to three hours before bed.
Enough science – that is not why you buy it
You will either understand circadian rhythm, in which case read on, or think nothing of it, in which case you won’t be remotely interested in this A$499 desk lamp. OSIN says the longer you use the Loop, the better, as it can help regulate your body clock.
Australian Review: OSIN Loop circadian rhythm desk lamp
|From||OSIN online only|
|Made in||New Zealand (lamp) China (power adapter and electronic components).|
|About||See above. Est 2019.|
We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
First Impression – cool (literally)
The best way to describe it is as a desk lamp with a squashed halo. It is smaller than you may think, with a 260 (W) x 260 (H) x 100mm (D) and 1.8kg. A 24V/.75A/18W plug pack powers it.
Setup – Pass
The App has no other functionality but could be used for firmware updates. The App must remain installed to transmit the time/settings to the Loop. If someone else were to turn it on when you were away, it defaults to cool blue as the App requires Location, Nearby devices, and Notification permissions.
Privacy – Pass
The two stated aims of data collection are to provide targeted advertisements and for Google Analytics.
While the Policy is relatively benign and presents no obvious danger signals, we make it clear that your data is monetised. Is that necessary for a desk lamp?
Light output – too low for a task or reading lamp – Passable
It produces about 200 lumens/lumens at 1 metre and 100 lumens at 2 metres in front of the halo. It has little illumination beside or behind the halo.
That is equivalent to a 20W incandescent bulb at 1 metre. It can produce just enough light to read by if placed on a nearby bedside table.
A work task lamp will likely produce 1000-4000 lumens, so OSIN Loop is unsuitable for that.
Given its smallish size, it is more suited for a bedside lamp. It could be used for a small room illumination (mood light). In other words, it is a personal device.
OSIN indicates you should leave it on 24/7 to help your circadian rhythm. Given that daylight and interior office light are way more powerful, the OSIN Loop cannot hope to defeat that and make a difference. It is more for darkened rooms.
We see it being viable in low-light areas like a bedroom, mancave, gamer’s lair etc.
Light output adjustment – none
There appears to be no brightness control in the App. Given the lower light output, this is not necessary, but we cannot help but feel the LEDs are capable of more brightness.
Smart lighting – none
It has no link to voice assistants (another potential feature for the App) that may make it more useful, “OK, Google, turn me on”.
Maintenance/lifespan – Pass
It is well made and a sealed unit. LEDs typically last 20,000 or more hours, just over two years, 24/7/365. Although I suspect this will last much longer.
The website does not mention the possibility of repairs. It would likely need to be shipped back to NZ for same.
CyberShack’s view – OSIN Loop Gen 1 will appeal to those with a science bent
We won’t dispute that circadian rhythm is affected by light. This is a personal device that, in the right place/use, could assist in regulating the body clock.
If you have a spare $499, its 30-day free return policy may interest you. Or it may be a good gift for the person that has everything.
We won’t allocate a formal review rating as there are no established benchmarks to measure against.
- Features: A low-brightness desk lamp that outputs different light temperatures to match the external light cycles.
- Value: At $499, it is a discretionary expense rather than a necessary one.
- Performance: It does what it states – changes colours to match light colour temperatures. But its light output is too low for a task lamp.
- Ease of Use: It has an App that sets the time/location. Otherwise, you press a button on the back to turn it on.
- Design: Some will love the design, and some won’t. It is quite wide and could take up valuable space on a small desk or bedside table.
There is a task light with Circadian Rhythms – read Dyson Lightcycle is a smart desk lamp (review)
Logitech has a light that has fully adjustable colours and tones – read Logitech Litra Glow – it is a video light with benefits (review). It can be used as a task light.