Hot on the heels of our coverage of Re-Timer, a light-emitting device that aims to help users readjust their bodyclocks, we’ve stumbled across another innovative use of light. Swedish firm Umeå Energi has replaced bus stop advertising boards with therapeutic illumination, hoping to tackle instances of winter depression.
Considering some reports suggest that the prevalence of seasonal affective disorders can reach as high as 9.5 percent of the population in regions such as Scandinavia, it seems that light is important for keeping a healthy balance of hormones in the brain. With this is in mind, the company has installed lamps that replicate daylight at 26 bus stops around the town. The bulbs are similar to those used in phototherapy and do not emit ultra-violet rays – they will be in place for three weeks.
Although part of a temporary campaign, could governments employ a similar idea to help boost the moods of citizens during the winter?