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Brief Published: 4 Mar 2013

Photon Shower to Cure Jet Lag


US airline Delta Airlines has created a light shower that can help passengers recover from jet lag. On display last week at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference in California, the Photon Shower uses light therapy to alter the user’s internal body clock – leaving them feeling refreshed and energised, even after a long flight.

The Photon Shower, designed by New York advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy, allows the user to input travel information and adjusts the therapy according to individual need. The concept is based on research into light therapy conducted by professor Russell Foster from Oxford University in the UK, who held a talk at the conference outlining how light could be used to realign our body clocks.

“Our brains contain a master clock that co-ordinates the circadian rhythms of our body’s many systems,” says Delta. “The symptoms of jet lag occur because the body gets off-schedule – not only because of the day/night pattern of its new location, but with itself. This is where light comes into play.” The Photon Shower targets newly discovered photoreceptor cells in the eyes, showering them with blue light rays to help the user’s body clock align with its surroundings more quickly.

While the Photon Shower is a concept product designed purely for the TED Conference, a spokesperson for Delta hinted that the airline may find other uses for the device. Light therapy is gaining ground in the mainstream, boosted by the launch of light-emitting eyewear Re-Timer in November 2012, and the installation of luminotherapy spaces in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport earlier in the year. To learn more about the benefits of light, read Life-Enhancing Lighting.