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Wearable sensors to help you get just the right amount of light

Published torsdag 20 november 2014 kl 16.04
"We have very little light in the morning, but still we need to wake up at the same time."
(7:03 min)
Doktoranden Pimkamol Maleetipwan-Mattsson och prof. Thorbjörn Laike vid Lunds Universitet. Foto: Mikael Risedal LU
Doctoral student Pimkamol Maleetipwan-Mattsson and Professor Thorbjörn Laike at Lund University research how light can be adjusted to help people's well-being. Photo: Mikael Risedal LU

Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have joined forces with the Lighting Research Center in Troy, New York, to see whether they can keep people from getting sick by surrounding them with just the right amount of light - tailored individually for them. 

Radio Sweden interviews Professor Thorbjörn Laike from Lund University, who works with environmental psychology and explains that the project aims to save energy and make home lighting better. He says that 40 - 60 percent of people living far from the equator feel more tired, less well, and less active, and less social than during the summer. 

"By using sensors that you apply quite close to the eye, you could get information about the light exposure during the day, and this information will then be sent to a hub in the home," says Laikie, so that "you could get the right amount of light that is good for you."

He says the system could help people sleep well during the night, and also wake up in the morning to the right amount of light. 

He also calls Sweden a "suitable" place to conduct this kind of research, given how far away it is from the 12-hour days and nights at the equator. 

Laike and his colleagues will be conducting experiments on test subjects for three years now. The Swedish Energy Agency has also pushed SEK 5 million towards the project, because the system would save energy by automatically shutting the light when people leave a room.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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