How LYS can be used in care homes

10 Jul 2017

Copenhagen’s Aalborg University recent graduate Sofie Gammelgård Jensen used L Y S as a core case study for her Master’s thesis. The Techno-Anthropology course looks at how technology affects all aspects of our cultural habits, and the way light has been manipulated in the last 100 years is where Sofie draws her research from.

Since Edison’s invention of the lightbulb, human beings pretty much changed the way they operate – we’ve evolved to be creatures of all hours, and in spaces that don’t necessarily birth their own light source. Surely this has had a monumental effect on how we operate, how our bodies respond to this brave new world, and how, in response, technology is being used to rebalance this shift.

LYS is proud to be included in this detailed study, something which makes our mission feel ever more relevant. In her thesis, Sofie focuses on how an attention to our natural circadian rhythm, affected by the light intensity and the colour of light can be used in care homes. Her study looks at one place in particular, where young people are being treated for mental ill-health in Denmark. “When it comes to the patients’ daily living, their awareness and perceptions of receiving enough light seem to be a under-prioritised topic. The lack of privacy and feeling under surveillance are issues that make a patient use her roller blind as her protection against the surrounding world by blocking out the light, maybe in the pursuit of establishing her own back region.” While such habits might be understandable in certain circumstances, blocking light, or not receiving the right amount of it can be detrimental to recovery. But what if L Y S was integrated into their daily routine?

Perhaps if the Daily Light Goal was a recurring aspect of patients’ activities, it could create both motivation to go outside, open that curtain and become engaged in how every individual has the power to restore mood balance, energy and sleep patterns.

With our awareness of the effects of light on our mood and mental-well being only at the start of public attention, it seems that Sofie’s research is on point at the time, yet she herself experienced the struggles of raising the urgency of both the patients and the carers. For example, patients receive Melatonin in pill form before going to sleep, yet the right amount of light intensity and colour before bedtime naturally does just that. This thesis, and this research more generally, is a symbol of progression, the rest will follow they say.