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Philips reveals the results of innovative ‘Light up the dark’ experiment

[SPONSORED FEATURE] Philips has revealed the results of an experiment which used light to transform the lives of the residents of a small community in Uppsala, Sweden

The ‘Philips Light up the dark’ experiment launched in February 2015, used light to transform the lives of local residents and children in a small community in Uppsala, Sweden.

The experiment is the first in a series where Philips will strive to improve people’s lives by providing innovative solutions and ideas to particular challenges.

Light is a scare commodity in Sweden, with darkness falling mid-afternoon each day during winter it can be especially hard for children who need the physical activity of outdoors play for their well-being.

Light plays a vital role in life, fueling the energy to work, play, create, exercise and interact. It’s especially critical for children, allowing outdoor play that’s essential for cognitive, emotional, physical and social development. More time outside means less time watching television or playing computer-games, leading to better overall well-being, sleep quality and study concentration skills.

The experiment

In February, 2015, Philips CityTouch connected LED lighting was installed and illuminated Tegnérparken Playground in the city of Uppsala north of Stockholm. The lighting gives local children in the community a chance to play outdoors, even during winter’s darkness. The experiment was conducted together with lighting design consulting firm Bjerking and the municipality of Uppsala.

The lighting will remain as a permanent fixture, however for the first two week’s following the installation Philips teamed up with the local Kindergarten and captured a number of metrics to gauge if the children responded in a positive way to having more time outside to play. Specifically, Philips looked at, sleep, play and well-being.

The results

Key findings:

  • Before the lighting was installed in the park children spent an average of 72 minutes a day playing outside. In the week after the installation, this went up to 99 minutes - a 37 per cent increase in time spent outdoors each day
  • During the same period, time spent playing inside with electronic games or watching television dropped from an average of 72 mins a day to 61 mins a day. This 15 per cent reduction represents approximately one hour less per week spent in front of a television or playing electronic games
  • According to 86 per cent of parents in the area their children generally spend less time outdoors playing in winter time
  • Almost 60 per cent of parents said they see an improvement in their child’s mood when they play outside, while 28 per cent said their child had a better appetite after playing outdoors. More than 40 per cent said it improved their child’s sleep patterns

Philips believes it can always make life better and through a series of living lab experiments the company aims to provide innovation solutions and ideas to particular challenges in order to improve people’s lives around the globe.

The Philips ‘Light up the dark’ experiment in Sweden is the first of many experiments that bring Philips closer to achieving its vision of improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2025.