Queens Physics Professor Creates Light-Energized Clothing
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THE WARMTH of the sun on your face after you finally emerge from a fluorescent-lit room and into daylight—you know the feeling. When your skin feels like it's awakening, breathing again. Though the sun's UV rays are known to be dangerous in large amounts, there is also no doubting the sun's benefits to our wellness.
That's how Queens University physics professor Marco Scipioni sees it, anyway.
Scipioni, along with fellow co-founder Gates Hinds, has launched a new, Charlotte-based concept for apparel that uses some of the sun's energy to drive health benefits and comfort. It's called Lumiton, and it uses the same science behind low-level light therapy. Here's an official description of the clothing: "Light-Energized Apparel™ ... is an entirely new class of apparel that promotes health, wellness, athletic performance, and UV protection simply by wearing it under the sun in everyday life."
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The SunShift athletic shirt is Lumiton's first product.
Scipioni's background is in laser, physics, and optics. He explains a Lumiton shirt like this: "If you go to a doctor, and they're using this FDA-approved machinery that uses the laser, the red and near-infrared lights are helping your body in many ways." That same type of laser technology is being used in Lumiton clothing. Though, let it be clear—this is a wellness product, not a medical or clinical product. Scipioni compares it to eating blueberries because antioxidants are known to make you healthier.
He says that, because the Lumiton shirt yarns are enhanced by such laser technology, the sun does not make the fabric hot, so the wearer feels a cooling effect. Plus, this sun-energized apparel generates red and near-infrared light to rejuvenate cells and increase collagen to promote healthier skin. Since the shirt energizes in the sun, an athletic apparel line just made sense to the founders. The product washes like any other.
"We are all affected by an indoor environment's lack of sunlight," Scipioni says. His product hopes to help reverse those effects.
Hinds and Scipioni launched a Kickstarter campaign for the idea, and within 18 days of the campaign's close date (October 30, 2018), it had already surpassed the $50,000 goal. "Reaching that goal is just fantastic," Scipioni says.
Twelve days out from the campaign's end, the total sits at $57,501. See the Kickstarter video below for the founders' explanation of the product:
Made in North Carolina, the Lumiton product line has plans to grow beyond shirts. "More support translates into offering our backers more colors and garments," Scipioni says. And those who have backed the campaign already can expect their shirts before Christmas; Scipioni says, "We're gonna work hard to keep that promise."