Lighting therapy + colour therapy = SENSORY LIGHTING
With the use of specific colours incorporated with special fibre optic lighting, combined, the two therapies create a dynamic interactive sensory experience. The purpose of combining both colour and lighting therapies in one product is to activate a person’s neuro-stimuli of proprioception (the awareness of where your body is in space) with their vestibular system (the sense of balance) enabling the brain to enhance itself and develop its cognitive ability. Sensory lighting works as a complementary therapy, designed to act as an aid in benefiting both health and behaviors in children and adults.
Lighting as a therapy
Lighting is utilised in therapeutic industries and more recently for the increased benefits to patient and customer experiences. Sensory lighting has established positive long-term and short-term psychological and physiological results. Physiologists and psychologists have long understood how light can affect a person's natural circadian rhythms that affect overall health. Children’s moods are strongly affected by lighting – for some it provides a calming, soothing effect, while for others it acts as a stimulant. Certain light levels and colours can be beneficial and the ability to control visual stimuli within the space is important.
Colour as a therapy
Colour therapy is a type of holistic healing that uses the visible spectrum of light and colour to affect a person's mood and physical or mental health. When colour passes through the retinal cells in the eyes, the receptor cells absorb the hues and send a signal to the brain where the specific colours are deciphered. These brain impulses stimulated from a specific colour through the retinal cells also fall on the hormone regulating endocrine glands, which then evoke emotional and psychological responses.
Sensory and interactive lighting uses
Calming effect | Lowers blood pressure | Reduces anxiety and stress | Assists with sleep | Acts as a stimulant for sensory development building blocks |
Increases creativity | Increases focus and concentration | Increases proprioception (the awareness of where your body is in space) |
Improves coordination and motor alertness | Promotes cognitive development by increasing brain function |
Provides a safe, secure and interactive learning atmosphere, giving children the opportunity to explore their environment |
Promotes relaxation | Promotes social interactions
Evidence in the benefits of using sensory lighting in health and education
Several studies prove that sensory lighting (both light and colour therapy) can help aid a child’s learning ability to achieve higher academic skills, improve cognitive abilities and overall behaviours within an early learning centre (ELC) environment.
The studies below support the use of sensory lighting:
Neonatal clinics have benefitted from using light therapy to address jaundice in babies (Wurtman,1984).
Wohlfarth (2001) supported the use of light therapy in schools. Children were removed from their classroom that was painted orange to a room painted white or royal light blue resulting in lower blood pressure, less fidgety and aggressive behaviour and an increased reading ability.
Birren (1998) further posited that the use of light therapy leads to cognitive growth, better grades and fewer infections.