Light is not only about seeing and shining

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


In our homes we enjoy daylight reaching the rooms through the windows, and artificial lighting when there is not enough daylight available. Electrical lighting has been used in Western homes since the late 1910s. We have experienced the technical development from warm incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient light emitting diods (LED). In Sweden we lack daylight in winter and have a lot of daylight in summer. Thanks to candle light and artificial light we endure the dark months of the year.

Research has shown that light is not only about seeing. Light affects circadian rhythm. Humans have an internal body clock. The average internal clock time is slightly longer than the solar day, about 24 hours and 15 minutes. The body-clock has to be reset to 24 hours each day and that is why light is so important. Light sets the body-clock by blocking the sleeping-hormone melatonin. Timing the body-clock with the 24-hour solar day is essential for our wellbeing.

The Swedish Healthy Home-program (SHH) is an on-going research project, and the aim is to improve health and promote sleep-quality through lighting as well as save energy. The projects within the over-all program are mainly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA). The research is conducted by Lighting Research Institute (LRC), at the Rensselaer Polytechnic School of Architecture, Troy, NY, Environmental Psychology at Lund University, and Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University. The SHH-program is part of my doctoral work in Environmental Psychology. My topic is wellbeing connected to light-dark cycles and sleep-wake patterns. The present studies concern lighting conditions in homes and the acceptance of new technological solutions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Applied Psychology
Original languageSwedish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
EventKultursociologiskt symposium - Universitetshuset, Sociologiska instutionen, Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 2015 Nov 192015 Nov 20


ConferenceKultursociologiskt symposium