Melagen Lighting – Circadian Rhythm Light System

Melagen Lighting – Harmonising with the Human Circadian Rhythm

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Melagen is a world-leading technology, which promotes wellbeing by altering the levels of blue light output within buildings. This works with the natural human circadian rhythm (our body’s internal master clock), resulting in increased alertness, improved mood and higher-quality sleep. It is the result of years of scientific research, backed by Monash University, Melbourne Australia, Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Australian Federal Gov.) and developed by Versalux Lighting Systems in Australia.

What sets Melagen apart from standard ‘human-centric’ lighting systems is the precise control over specific frequencies of blue light in the electromagnetic spectrum. This sets it apart from standard human-centric lighting systems, which despite having a warmer or cooler appearance, can still emit blue light from this particular section of the EM spectrum at unwanted times. Melagen specifically enriches or depletes this section of the spectrum, to promote wakefulness or restfulness, depending on the time of day.

Speak to us today about how installing a Melagen system can help your built environment by giving our expert lighting team a call on 01787 881191 or email us on

The Study – Blue Light and Its Influence on Humans

We’ve all likely heard about not using our phones before bedtime to minimise our exposure to blue light while our body prepares for sleep. But do you know why?

Monash University research has shown the far-reaching impact that non-visual light has on our physical and mental wellbeing. Specifically, blue light. The findings showed that this effect can change our circadian rhythms, promote or deter illness and ultimately influence our lifespan.

The scientists then modelled the impact of the amount of blue light in a light source to the response
of our 24-hour clock. This modelling provided a much clearer indication of what type of light we require, at what time.

The Scientific Findings

As a result of the Monash research, it was determined that blue light (specifically 480 – 490 nm) enhances alertness, this is achieved by suppressing melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced in your brain’s pineal gland, this compound regulates the sleep-wake cycle and ultimately governs the body’s circadian rhythm.

By increasing the levels of blue light output we can promote alertness, or inversely we can create an environment where individuals are prepared for sleep, by gradually reducing the levels of blue light output as dusk approaches.

This effect can also be used differently for shift work scenarios, where the blue-enriched light can be configured to output constantly, which then assists nightshift workers when they are fighting their body’s natural response to night time. With the melatonin being suppressed it will assist them to be more alert, potentially even leading to a reduction in mistakes and accidents.

The Circadian Rhythm

  • Humans have existed in a night-day cycle since the dawn of mankind
  • We rely on the body’s internal clock – The Circadian Rhythm to govern when we should feel tired and prepare us for a good sleep, likewise it wakes us up during the daytime
  • The presence (and absence) of sunlight has the biggest effect on our circadian rhythm
  • With artificial light, we manipulate our circadian rhythms, as artificial light contains levels of blue light that mimics outdoor daytime conditions.

The Result

In response to this research Versalux developed Melagen, an easily programmable control and output system for dynamic lighting in any built environment. It produces specific frequencies of light and has a particular focus on 480-490 nm where peak melatonin suppression occurs from exposure.

For the dynamic system, melatonin production is promoted as dusk approaches, so this frequency is suppressed. In addition to smoothly transitioning to a comforting, warmer colour temperature (CCT = 2200K) it also helps to promote the human response to lack of blue light, resulting in better conditions for melatonin production.

Likewise during the day this section of the spectrum can be enriched, so while emitting a cooler colour temperature (CCT = 4200K) it also helps with wakefulness and alertness for occupants. Despite this it still produces a natural light colour, similar to daylight and with an exceptional CRI (Colour Rendering Index) of 92.4 – meaning colours still appear in a natural-looking tone.

Melatonin Benefits

Melatonin is thought to have many additional positive benefits, alongside better quality sleep –

  • Anti-ageing
  • Immune boosting
  • Migraine relief
  • Skin health
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-oxidant benefits
  • Anti-depression
  • Menopause symptoms relief
  • Reduced insomnia

Mental Health Impact

A 2013 study was conducted in the UK that assessed the relationship between light exposure and participant mental health, involving over 85,000 individuals spanning over a 7-day period. They wore a light sensor that monitored daily light exposure against time of day and was referenced to frequent surveys on their mental health in relation to various conditions, including –

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Self-harm
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychotic experiences

The below graph is adapted from the final results of the original study, which is available here –

Melagen - effect of bright light on mental health

From this, we can see that the study demonstrates a clear trend towards bright light at night increasing the likelihood of known mental health issues, while bright light in the day decreases the likelihood of known mental health issues occurring.

According to this data, by installing a correctly managed lighting system that uses Melagen technology, we can help to reduce the chance of these mental health issues arising. This could be particularly effective in a mental healthcare setting, where individuals may already suffer from these conditions, or could exhibit heightened tendencies towards developing further conditions.

By regulating not only the light levels with central controls to assist with the above, but also the amount of blue light emitted to help aid occupants’ quality of sleep, we can help to create a positive rehabilitative environment.

Human-Centric Lighting vs Melagen

Human-Centric Lighting

Primary focus

  • The control and/or regulation of colour temperature (purely aesthetic)


Mimics the changing colour temperature of daylight. (Non-visible blue light still present)

  • Limited influence upon melatonin production or suppression
  • Limited impact influencing alertness and sleep


Primary focus

  • The control and regulation of blue light frequencies (480-490nm) while maintaining high CRI (>90)


Mimics the brain’s SCN circadian response to:

  • Wakefulness during daytime (high blue light)
  • Sleep during the evening (depleted blue light)

How can I find out more?

To discuss how installing a Melagen system can help your built environment give our expert lighting team a call on 01787 881191, or email us on

Who are Versalux?

Versalux are an Australian lighting designer and manufacturer who have pioneered the Melagen system and developed it in conjunction with Monash and CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity. Versalux have years of pedigree in the mental healthcare lighting industry, as well as prisons and plenty of general architectural lighting experience too.

Our Values

Our core values of continuous investment, innovation, quality assurance and pride in our levels of customer service mean that since 1997 we have built a reputation as a trusted UK partner to manufacture and deliver the best quality specialist lighting and systems available.

LYA provides personal and proactive technical support to all clients and provides mechanical and electrical engineering consultants and contractors, following each project from conception to design, manufacture and final completion.

Our clients include prisons, police stations, law courts and the mental healthcare sector nationally in the UK and beyond our borders globally.

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Trusted UK Partner

Trusted since 1997 with a quality assurance and price that is of the highest level.

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Technical Support

Personal and proactive technical support to all clients throughout the entire process.

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Secure By Nature

LYA clients are wide ranging from prisons to mental healthcare in the UK and beyond.

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