Light Management for Maritime Crew Endurance Programs

Sunnex Biotechnologies GreenLIGHT Lamps:
An element of the USCG's Crew Endurance Management System

GreenLIGHT Wheelhouse lamp Sunnex Biotechnologies' GreenLIGHT lamps were used for light management in the development of the U.S. Coast Guard's Crew Endurance Management System. For several years the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center tested the effectiveness of low intensity GreenLIGHT lamps for shifting circadian rhythms in order to align the internal body clock of crew members on the midnight watch with their work schedule. Using lamps provided by Sunnex Biotechnologies that emit the specific wavelengths of light which incorporate the patented technology used in the GreenLIGHT System, these trials were conducted in the laboratory, and on operational Coast Guard cutters and commercial vessels. See Studies with GreenLIGHT in the Workplace

In collaboration with American Waterways Operators, the U.S. Coast Guard developed the Crew Endurance Management Program to alleviate night shift fatigue, as well as to improve the health and well being of crew members working at night. Based on the results of the studies conducted with Sunnex Biotechnologies lamps, the U.S. Coast Guards has endorsed the Crew Endurance Management System for commercial vessels, and attempts are being made to implement the program to increase operational safety and crew health and performance on commercial inland and coastal vessels.

In order to determine how to achieve maximum benefits from the use of Sunnex Biotechnologies' GreenLIGHT technology as part of the USCG's Crew Endurance Management System we have consulted with several captains on commercial tow boats and the Crew Endurance Team at USCG headquarters.

Timing the Use of Sunnex Biotechnologies' GreenLIGHT Lamps

GreenLIGHT lamps on the Viking Avant Based on these consultations we recommend that pilots be exposed to the Sunnex GreenLight System for 20 to 30 minutes in the hour preceding the night watch, in addition to using our specially adapted wheelhouse unit from the start of the night watch until 3 to 4 hours before termination of the watch.

This methodology is based on trials on Coast Guard cutters in which exposure for 20 to 30 minutes before the 00-04 watch effectively suppressed the hormonal expression of sleep physiology of crew working this shift until nearly 4 A.M., while still allowing them to be physiologically prepared to sleep shortly thereafter. As crews on commercial vessels often do not end their watch until later in the morning, it is important that pre-watch exposure be supplemented by periodic exposure until 3 to 4 hours before the end of the night watch. In this way, alertness is maintained throughout the shift, but crew can go to sleep quickly after the watch.

NOTE:We have been informed that all of the light management trials conducted in the development of the CEMS program were conducted with low intensity GreenLIGHT lamps provided by Sunnex Biotechnologies. While CEMS guidelines indicate that one can alternately use white light of moderate intensity, in the order of 1,000 to 2,000 lux, it is our understanding that effect of white light has never been tested in the CEMS program, and that white light of these moderate intensities would be ineffective for improving performance or synchronizing the internal sleep cycle with a night work schedule. The GreenLIGHT technology has been found to be the most efficient and effective light management technology in a number of independent studies at military research facilities and major universities. Read More

Installing GreenLIGHT Lamps

We strongly recommend that wheelhouse units be installed only by authorized installers to ensure that the wheelhouse units are positioned a manner that will be effective and comfortable to the user. An authorized installer will also determine the optimal size and placement of fixtures to be used in the locker room, mess, bedroom or other areas which may be used for pre-watch exposure.

When installing a GreenLIGHT lamp in the wheelhouse unit, we suggest that an on/off switch be placed in a convenient place so that the unit can quickly be turned off if required for operational safety, and then easily be turned on again when circumstances permit.

Supplementary GLS Eyewear in the GreenLIGHT System

GLS eyewear Sunnex Biotechnologies has specialized sunglasses for users who run the risk of exposure to morning sunlight. Morning sunlight counteracts the ability of appropriate light exposure at night to align the body clock with the work shift. This specialized eyewear permits users to carry on normal morning activities and still maintain the benefits of nighttime light exposure. The unique GLS eyewear blocks the opposing effect of morning sunlight while allowing normal activity.

To see a product list of GreenLIGHT fixtures and eyewear Click Here


To learn how Sunnex Biotechnologies' GreenLIGHT System can be used on your vessels, contact the USCG's Crew Endurance Management team to find out when CEMS certification programs are being conducted in your area, or Contact Us