Circadian ZircLight technology lives, but not necessarily the brand or company


Circadian ZircLight, a pioneer in the long-evolving field of circadian lighting, might cease to exist as a corporate entity and brand following its recent acquisition by a California firm, although its technology looks set to carry on and its ardent CEO will remain heavily involved.

Dr. Martin Moore-Ede, who had run the Stoneham, MA–based company since founding it in 2011 as a spinoff of his consulting firm Circadian, will now serve as chief medical advisor for the acquiring company, Korrus, as LEDs Magazine reported earlier this month. 

At the time of the announcement, it was not clear whether Los Angeles–based Korrus intended to operate Circadian as a company. The novel job title that it gave Moore-Ede hinted that he would no longer be Circadian CEO. Korrus also did not announce a new head to the operations, an omission that suggested it might break up the Circadian corporate structure.

LEDs subsequently asked both Korrus public relations and Moore-Ede via email to clarify whether Circadian would stay intact.

“You can think of Korrus as a software-defined technology platform that enables a vast ecosystem of products, each capable of dynamically delivering the right light at the right time, for any number of use cases,” Moore-Ede replied.

It does not take an advanced degree to realize that the word “yes” is missing from Moore-Ede’s response. 

While the future does not necessarily look bright for Circadian ZircLight Inc. per se, there is a hopeful future for the products and processes that Moore-Ede developed. A former Harvard medical school professor, Moore-Ede developed luminaires and controls at Circadian ZircLight that tune the spectral content of lighting to conform to the circadian needs of humans, and thus foster health.

At Korrus, he is responsible for mixing and matching products within the Korrus stable to help facilitate the same mission.

Korrus describes itself as a “human light interaction” company. Its brand and product names include Ecosense, Soraa, Lumium, Rise, Trov, and Scuva, among others. Between them they include luminaires, projection lights, lamps, and other products featuring varying levels of  spectral and intensity control. Scuva offers ultraviolet products for sanitation purposes.

The Circadian brand itself may or may not continue. Circadian ZircLight marketed its products as Circadian Light.

“Korrus will decide whether and how to use the brand ‘Circadian Light,’” Moore-Ede said.

LEDs has not yet heard back directly from others at Korrus.

What will certainly continue is Moore-Ede’s zeal for lighting tuned to enhance human wellbeing and avoid diseases associated with certain light frequencies applied at the wrong time, such as the blue spectra.

“Korrus is focused on opportunities at the intersection of light and human wellbeing,” Moore-Ede said. “Products integrated with Korrus technology that specifically support circadian health and entrainment are an integral part of that ecosystem. The demand, and frankly need, for healthier artificial light continues to grow. I’m thrilled to now join the ranks at Korrus, an organization that is resourced and committed to fueling that growth by raising awareness for the whole concept of human light interaction (HLI).  I am very much in alignment with the Korrus mission and am delighted to be contributing my life’s work to this cause.”

Moore-Ede, who was at Harvard from 1975 through 1998, has contributed considerable research on light’s effects on human health.

In the announcement earlier this month, he described the current “pivotal moment in the history of light as we harness the power of digital light to optimize health, wellbeing, and human performance,” and noted that “it is now possible to spectrally engineer light to reduce the risk of numerous diseases caused by circadian disruption, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.”

While Korrus acquired Circadian’s lighting assets, it did not pick up the portion of Circadian that was marketing eyewear designed to block blue spectra. The group now operates as a separate entity, CircadianEye LLC.

Consulting company Circadian, which Moore-Ede founded in 1983, is now run by Moore-Ede’s son, Andrew Moore-Ede, who serves as president.

The Korrus acquisition included Circadian’s agreement to supply and license products and technology to Acuity Brands.

The Circadian portfolio that is now part of Korrus includes a violet LED emitter that replaces blue and thus avoids any harmful blue effects. Moore-Ede did not reveal the source of the chips, but said it does not come from Soraa.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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