Light therapy - Saved sun benefits winter tired school children

In the summer of 2014 Umeå was the second sunniest city in Sweden. The sun shone so much on Umeå’s solar panels that we decided to save some sun and give it back during darker times. 

In December Umeå has on average 0,77 sunlight hours per day, if the sun shines at all. Winter tiredness affects almost everybody, more or less. This was a perfect time to use some saved summer sun.

Dragonskolan in Umeå has 2000 high school students, who are at that age when it’s common to feel extra tired. Add some winter darkness and we soon realized that this was a perfect place for some light therapy. That’s why we have installed full spectrum lamps in a number of classrooms and day light lamps in the Dragonskolan cafeteria. During December more than half of the school’s student will spend time under the lamps.

Studies have shown that having the right lights in the classroom can affect learning, especially during the dark season and far up north. It’s too early to say if our light therapy experiment will show in the student’s grades but we hope that both teachers and students feel more alert. Perhaps the lights will make it easer to endure those last weeks before the holidays. Of course we will leave the lamps in Dragonskolan for as long as they want them.

Umeå Energi only sells energy from renewable energy sources such as wind, water and of course sun. We do this because we are convinced that this is the only sustainable solution for the future. The future that is sitting in Dragonskolan´s classrooms right now.