Dr. Ott’s “day-job” was that of a banker, with horticulture and time-lapse photography as hobbies. These hobbies soon sprouted into a pioneering career in the new field of photobiology; the study of light on living cells..
While working as a consultant for the Walt Disney “Secrets of Life” film series, Dr. Ott found that he could not successfully grow plants indoors under commonly used artificial lighting. His research found that all living organisms need the full spectrum of light provided by the sun in order to thrive. His cinematography of flowers blooming in such classic documentaries as Disney’s Secrets of Life (1956), pioneered the modern use of time-lapse on film and television..
Eventually Dr. Ott turned his attention towards monitoring the beneficial effects of full spectrum lighting on certain human physiological conditions. Dr. Ott discovered that the color temperature of lights affects mental health, with balanced light reducing hyperactivity in classrooms and reducing negative behavior in prisons and mental health facilities..
Dr. Ott discovered that even an individual cells’ ability to properly reproduce in plants, animals and humans is affected by variances in lighting. Most importantly, he realized that light entering the body through the eyes controls and regulates our brain chemistry which in turn affects how we feel and function..
In addition to writing three books and volumes of research, Dr. Ott also published a series of seven articles in the International Journal of Biosocial Research (Tacoma, Washington), a medical journal that studies links between physical and mental health titled Color and Light: Their Effects on Plants, Animals, and People.
The articles summed up Dr. Ott’s decades of independent research, which was contrary to the established “wisdom” of pharmaceutical companies. These companies were “scaring the daylight out of us” by promoting the sudden negative effects of natural sunlight. These companies claimed that the sun was now dangerous to our skin and eyes and that we need to protect ourselves with their expensive sun screen lotion..
At the time, Dr. Ott’s research efforts generally met with polite indifference from the scientific community but he soon began to attract attention from a wider public audience including an emerging trend of clinicians and medical professionals who recognize and align with his theory of Mal-illumination… the silent epidemic.