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#034 Scott Zimmerman – Near-Infrared Light, Mitochondria and Melatonin: A different perspective

In this episode, Scott Zimmerman discusses the role of light in the human body, focusing on infrared energy. Key topics include how the body interacts with near-infrared light, its effects on melatonin production and blood vessels, and the importance of balanced light exposure. The conversation also touches on the challenges of measuring light effects and the potential benefits of near-infrared light in lighting design and healthcare.


  • Light and optics play a crucial role in the human body, with infrared energy being particularly important.
  • The body is capable of collecting and distributing near-infrared light, which has various biological effects.
  • Mitochondria have the ability to generate melatonin, and the body's response to stressors involves the production of melatonin and cortisol.
  • The effects of different wavelengths of light on the body are complex and depend on factors such as skin color and depth of penetration.
  • There is a need for a balanced approach to light exposure, considering both the benefits and potential risks. Photons play a crucial role in tissue penetration and the effectiveness of photobiomodulation.
  • Near-infrared light can have significant effects on blood vessels, immune cells, and various physiological processes.
  • Establishing a minimum baseline of near-infrared exposure is important for overall health and well-being.
  • Simplifying lighting design and incorporating near-infrared light can provide numerous benefits for individuals and society.

Papers from Scott

  • Melatonin and the Optics of the Human Body
  • Melatonin: Both a Messenger of Darkness and a Participant in the Cellular Actions of Non-Visible Solar Radiation of Near Infrared Light
  • Scott Zimmerman - Optical engineer, Founder of Silas, Inc., maker of NIRA lighting

Scott Zimmerman - Optical engineer, Founder of Silas, Inc., maker of NIRA lighting

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