Architectural Perspective: The Effects of Artificial Light and Other Environmental Factors on Human Health and Behavior
Dr. John Ott
Lawrence Technological University
The late Dr. John Ott started out as a successful banker who liked to dabble in time-lapse photography at which he was exceptionally good. This hobby led to doing some films for Disney. Much of his more notable work involved timelapse photography of plants. For a man playing with his hobby in the basement he had a very elaborate setup. Eventually he left banking to pursue the hobby full-time, and this led to some interesting discoveries about the effects of light on plants, animals and people. That is the subject of this video.
One of Ott’s early projects called for photographing pumpkins as they grew. He needed to do this indoors under controlled conditions. There was one problem. They wouldn’t grow. After ruling out bad seeds, inadequate fertilizer and camera shyness, he changed the fluorescent lights which produced a lot of yellow frequency light for a light bulb that produced more blue frequency. Problem solved. In other plants he found a correlation between virus susceptibility and light frequencies. Someone might want to study that in humans as well.
When Ott became involved in a project photographing chinchillas, he made one of many interesting (some might say bizarre) discoveries. At the beginning the chinchillas were consistently producing a vast majority of male offspring. When he changed the frequency of the light, they started producing mostly female offspring. What makes this a little stranger is that he changed the light ten days after conception. This phenomenon could have intriguing implications for someone like a dairy farmer, for example, who wants more heifers than bulls or egg producers who want more hens than cocks.
Dr. Ott demonstrated several times with different people that when they are exposed to ungrounded fluorescent light, the deltoid shoulder muscle weakens significantly. He pointed out that doctors at NIH have observed that whatever weakens the deltoid muscle also weakens the heart.
Ott made numerous other discoveries. When full-spectrum lights were installed in Sarasota schools, for example, kids stopped bouncing off the walls, learning disabilities were reduced, grades improved and cavity rates decreased. Lab studies showed that retinas work better under full-spectrum light, including the dreaded ultraviolet light. Sunglasses reduce fertility. He also showed that television radiation makes rats—and children—go nuts. The rats were blocked from actually seeing the TV so we know they weren’t just reacting to TV violence or game shows.
Most of this video came from a talk Dr. Ott presented at Lawrence Technological University in October 1988 to a class of architecture students. They were interested in how to design healthy buildings instead of sick buildings. A subset of this information is covered in the video Exploring the Spectrum by Dr. John Ott available at www.naturalenergyworks.net. Whether or not you believe everything he says, he makes a good case that optimal health depends not only on good, full-spectrum nutrition, but good, full-spectrum light as well. My thumb lights UP for this video.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2012.