Dr. John Ott is the father of the science of photobiology.
He is best known for his work in time lapse photography and he made some films for Disney back in the 70s showing cool things like flowers blooming. You probably saw them as a kid at some point.
Dr. Ott had a remarkable power of observation. Through his work he discovered how different frequencies of light affect health of not just plants but humans and animals.
His work showed that UV frequencies of light are necessary for good health.
A lot of us get very little UV light because we work indoors all day and glass from windows and eye glasses block UV light.
He observed children under fluorescent light and they had higher incidents of ADD compared to children under natural light.
He then made a discovery almost on accident. He went to a famous restaurant in Chicago that was entirely lit using black lights. Black lights emit UV-A light.
He asked the owner if any of his employees had any cases of skin cancer or cataracts, which are commonly associated with UV exposure.
The owner reported that the lighting had been that way for 20 years, most of his employees had been with him the entire time, and their health was, “unusually good,” and the men were, “unusually congenial.” In fact they maintained their health during severe flu epidemics.
And this is why I have a black light at my desk (and some other lights that I’ll discuss at another time). It’s an easy way to add back part of the solar spectrum that is removed from indoor lighting.
Here’s a short video of some of Dr. Otts work if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/bw6hcTGND3c