Light Up the Dark

For many people, winter can feel very long. For those in Sweden, it is long – almost nine months of dark days and nights. And with only a few hours of sunlight each day, winter can be especially hard for Sweden’s children, who need physical activity outside for healthy development. Philips, which prides itself on its innovations to make lives better, had a bright idea.

In February 2014, Philips began its Light up the dark experiment and permanently installed its connected LED CityTouch lighting system to give children in one community a chance to play outdoors during winter’s darkness. The result? An illuminated Tegnérparken Playground in the city of Uppsala (north of Stockholm). More than 40 children from a nearby kindergarten and all children from the surrounding neighborhood now have the benefit of swinging, sliding, climbing and sledding in a well-lit outdoor environment.

To test the impact of Philips’ Light up the dark, the company studied a sample from a local kindergarten, evaluating differences in children since lighting in the park was installed. The research found that 37 percent of children spend more time in the park, and 43 percent reported a positive impact on their children’s sleeping patterns. Plus, 57 percent of parents reported a noticeable improvement in their children’s mood.