Lighting has the ability to influence our comfort level inside a space – consider the way you feel under the glaring fluorescents at doctor’s office versus the subdued lighting of a swanky bar – but what if it could work to do more? A range of innovations are mimicking the effects of natural sunlight to becomes a source of growth and healing that carries positive benefits for all living organisms.
In a theme we are calling Light Therapy, PSFK Labs explores light’s capacity to improve our overall health and well-being. Susanne Seitinger, City Innovations Manager at Philips Color Kinetics, points to the multitude of needs that light serves, when she tell us, “There’s a whole spectrum from very specific impacts that are related to our biology and physiology all the way through to the very abstract impacts of ‘I feel good in this place’ and everything in between.”
Feeling good in spite of prevailing physical conditions is the inspiration behind Philips HealWell, a hospital lighting solution for patient rooms designed to improve satisfaction and support recovery. Philips HealWell combines the biological effects of natural daylight to promote better sleep patterns, while also empowering patients to create a pleasant atmosphere inside their rooms without having to get up from their bed. Philips Healwell is currently being used in healthcare facilities to improve conditions for patients, their loved ones and hospital staff.
Plants, which need light to flourish, also benefit from advances in lighting control. Philips has been experimenting with the use of LEDs in indoor horticulture, which can be finely tuned to provide optimum ‘light recipes’ at every stage of a crop’s growth. The solid-state LED lighting solution offers a number of benefits to the horticulture industry, including increased yields, earlier flowering, faster root growth/ germination, better control of plant growth, and more economical use of space. Its low radiative heat emission also allows the light source to be installed closer to the plants, thus improving space utilization, while allowing producers to lower electricity consumption, especially during the high consumption periods of autumn and winter.
Philips technologies such as the HealWell and LED horticulture solutions demonstrate how artificial lighting sources are working to embody the healing properties of natural light and make them accessible to more people for a variety of needs. Imagine a lighting system that worked in concert with a daily alarm schedule to automatically dim or brighten to promote rest and relaxation or alertness depending on time of day.
These solutions also fall under a larger trend called Light for Life, which investigates the transformative power of light and its ability to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities by promoting well-being and creating more opportunities outside of daylight hours.
The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.