Dr Shelley James is an international expert on light and well-being, TedX and keynote speaker, WELL Advisor and Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art. She is also a trained glass artist and electrician. Light is as important to the healthy function of every cell in your body as food, water and air. Shelley is on a mission to inspire others to harness the power of the humble lightbulb to be healthier, happier and save the planet too.
Clients include global lighting and technology brands and regulators, healthcare and education trusts, architects and designers, academic institutions and museums. A recent social media campaign to raise awareness of the impact of light on teens was translated into three languages and reached over 2.5 million young people around the world. Her recent TedX talk was selected for the Ted platform. It’s now had over 100,000 views and was in the top three most-watched Ted talks in May.
I trained in textiles in Paris and built a successful career as a branding consultant for global organisations including Visa International, Sony Ericsson and Cancer Research UK. Harnessing the power of light and colour in space to shape brand perception was central to these global campaigns. A traumatic head injury led to extreme photosensitivity. Through long, dark years, with the help of a neurologist, I retrained the connections between my eye and my brain. An MA and PhD from the Royal College of Art followed along with s stream of commissions, collaborations and Residencies. These included Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, Science Gallery Dublin, Corning Studio New York, the Royal Society, the Royal Institution, the Medical Research Council and the opportunity to work with Sir Roger Penrose and the Mathematics Institute in Oxford.
Light became a central part of my creative practice. Unable to find technical support for my own work, I went back to college to train as an electrician and a lighting designer. I started to work with other artists and scientists to use light in their work. Clients included the International Day of Light celebrations for King’s College, London, the RCA and the Makerversity at Somerset House.
Lock-down put an abrupt stop to this thriving London-based consultancy. Shocked by a lack of awareness of the impact of light on health and well-being on the young people around me, I created a social media campaign with partners and sponsors from around the world. We reached 1.9 million views in just four weeks. The campaign has now been translated into three languages and has topped the 2.5 million mark.
They reminded me that they don’t buy the lights. 80% of the people who buy lights for the places where we spend 90% of our lives have absolutely no training at all. Not surprisingly, they buy on price. You probably do too.
I set out to do something about that too. The Luna Pro campaign has reached over 10,000 professionals in just four months. My TedX talk is now one of just 15% selected for the main ‘Ted’ platform. We’ve just hit 85,000 views and over 900 ‘likes’ and were in the top 3 most-watched TedX Youtube videos in the world in May.
It’s time to change the conversation about the lights. Get in touch there is anything I can do to support you too.