Q: Who is SORAA?
A: SORAA has made ordinary lighting extraordinarily brilliant and efficient - pioneering products using LEDs built from pure gallium nitride. In 2008, a brilliant team of professors from the worlds of engineering and semiconductors set out to develop extraordinarily efficient lighting. Nobel laureate Dr. Shuji Nakamura, Dr. Steven DenBaars and Dr. James Speck’s pursuit of perfection led to the development of a revolutionarily type of light—a violet LED made from pure gallium nitride substrates.
Our gallium nitride on gallium nitride (GaN on GaN™) technology produces LED crystals that are up to one thousand times purer than any other standard LED, emit more light per area, handle more electric current per area – and produce full visible spectrum light. To bring this simply perfect light source to life, the team founded SORAA.
Since then, we've built a line of award-winning professional lamps, light engines and luminaires around this innovative light source. Today, you’ll find Soraa professional lamps in some of the world’s most iconic venues – such as the Chateau de Versailles, the Cartier Mansion, and the British Museum just to name a few. And with Helia, we’re now bringing these innovative technologies into the home.
We're headquartered in Fremont, California, where our talented team designs and markets our lighting products and manufactures the GaN on GaN™ LEDs in a crazy awesome semiconductor fabrication facility.
Q: Where can I learn more about SORAA and its products?
A: You can check out SORAA and explore our products at https://www.SORAA.com/
Q: What is Helia?
A: SORAA named its consumer product line ‘Helia’ – a name that personifies sunlight and its day/night cycle. Helia is the healthy light environment that combines advanced intelligence, unmatched light quality and circadian health with the only soft white, tunable BLUEFREE LED™ available.
Q: Do these bulbs work in existing sockets?
A: Absolutely. The Helia Dynamic White BR30 was designed to easily integrate in existing recessed downlight (‘can light’) sockets with standard Edison E26 screw-type receptacles.
Q: Do these bulbs work with dimmer controllers?
A: Helia Dynamic White BR30’s are designed to dim using the Helia App or Helia control devices. In addition to working with standard light switches, Helia Dynamic White bulbs are compatible with dimmer controls that are tuned to full brightness.
Q: Do I need a hub or additional equipment
A: Nope. No hub required means no dead spots and no internet connection needed to experience all of the benefits of the Helia Healthy Light Environment.
Q: What is the expected lifetime of the Helia bulbs?
A: The expected Life of Helia Dynamic BR30’s is 22.8 years based on 3 hours/day usage.
Q: Will there be additional light bulb types in the Helia family?
A: Yes, in the future, the Helia Healthy Light environment platform will introduce additional bulb types, smart snaps with sensors and compatible accessories.
Q: Is there a real concern with blue light and health?
A: Most likely, yes. The impact of light on the circadian cycle has been actively research for two decades. Dozens of studies have confirmed that blue light influences the circadian cycle. Most crucially, it has been shown that common sources of light, including standard indoors illumination and emission from screens, was sufficient to delay the onset of sleep.
Q: What is SORAA® BLUEFREE™ LED technology?
A: BLUEFREE is a unique technology which produces pure white light without blue radiation. Instead of standard blue-emitting LEDs, the spectrum is generated from Soraa’s violet GaN-on-GaN LEDs. Some of this this violet radiation is then converted to green, yellow and red light – but no blue! The resulting spectrum is carefully crafted to conserve a pleasant white color and render objects beautifully, despite the absence of any blue radiation.
Q: Is blue light always bad?
A: Luckily, blue light isn’t bad in general. Natural sunlight has a lot of blue radiation, especially in the morning, which out bodies use as a cue to wake us up and synchronize our circadian cycle. The concern is with after-sunset excessive exposure to blue radiation, especially in the two hours before bedtime. This is why Helia provides dynamic light which varies throughout the day, to always provide the appropriate amount of blue radiation.
Q: What about other “sleep-friendly” systems?
A: Awareness on the risks of blue light is rising across both the lighting and display industries. In screens, utilities such as f.lux and Apple NightShift tune the color of the screen at night, making it appear more reddish. This is probably helpful, but a blue peak is still present in the spectrum, and some users dislike very warm screen colors. A similar approach is used in lighting, with various brands offering “sleep-friendly” bulbs. Unfortunately, these suffer from the same drawback: the blue peak is merely reduced (not removed), and this causes the light to appear too yellowish for most domestic uses. In contrast, the BLUEFREE technology stands out by offering no blue and natural white light.
Q: Does it take a degree in Computer Science or Engineering to set up a Helia lighting system?
A: Kudos to you if you have one, but Helia, automatically configures during installation so there is no need to manually set-up groups, zones, etc. Turn the room’s light switch off. Screw in the Helia bulbs. Turn the light switch on. Done. The Helia bulbs recognize each other across the powerlines as belonging to the same hard-wired group and automatically begin working together. We call it auto-grouping – which saves several clicks in a typical app setup.
Q: What connectivity technologies does Helia use?
- HomePlug Green PHY powerline networking creates a robust IoT backbone, enabling auto-grouping and precise synchronization of a room, or entire home lighting systems.
- Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) give you the ability to configure and control securely from mobile devices and Helia-compatible accessories
- The Cloud Connect bridges from the Helia lighting network to your Wi-Fi home broadband router. Add a Helia Cloud Connect Bridge in the same room as your home router to create a plug-and-play connection to popular cloud services like voice control, remote access, notifications and a growing list of compelling IoT services.
Q: What type of network security does Helia use?
A: Helia is the most secure lighting system in the world with secure enclaves built into every lamp, smart snap and gateway. All sensor data is end-to-end encrypted in transit and at rest - from the sensors across the network to the cloud. Only you have access to and control of your data.
Q: What sensors are used in the Dynamic White + Presence Smart SNAP?
A: The Helia Dynamic White + Presence Smart SNAP detects occupancy with infrared and sonic sensors and light levels with an ambient light sensor. This Smart Snap also contains the ‘brains’ to control Dynamic White settings throughout the day and night.
Q: Will there be additional Smart Snaps in the Helia family?
A: Yes, the Helia lighting platform is the only easily extensible lighting system on the market featuring an Smart Snap port - giving SORAA and our ecosystem partners the ability to add new capabilities and new types of sensors supported by an open SDK/HDK toolkit.
Q: When will Helia bulbs and accessories be available for purchase?
A: Spring 2017