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Brief Published: 25 Jun 2020

Samsung Start-up Produces Circadian Lighting Windows


Samsung-backed Korean start-up SunnyFive is developing a fake window that mimics natural light to boost mood and energy. While its design is decorative, the device demonstrates the importance of light on wellbeing, and suggests the increasing role that sunlight simulation will have, particularly in urban centres.

The wall-mounted lighting device looks very similar to a window. Its raised frame recreates the recessed position of a glass windowpane, which has a frosted-look coating to make it appear as if a shade is pulled down.

The window boasts a full spectrum of colours that mimic sunlight throughout the day. Users can control the device through a paired app, adjusting the brightness and colour temperature.

A programmed gradient effect recreates realistic sunlight scenarios, shifting from sunrise to dawn and dusk to sunset. Moreover, the light spectrum ranges beyond basic yellow and blue light to more poetic shades, allowing users to remix their own pink and purple sunsets.

SunnyFive claims that the device produces UVB (a form of ultraviolet light) to help users procure vitamin D at a faster rate than is usually possible through sunlight exposure.

By emulating natural light, the device helps improve mood by encouraging the brain to reduce its production of melatonin (a sleep-regulating hormone) and produce more serotonin (a hormone that contributes to a sense of wellbeing). It can therefore help boost mood and ward off the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder in less sunny months.

As we explore in Design Direction Earth, consumers are increasingly looking to products to help them realign with nature’s rhythms. With swelling urban centres and limited access to nature, products such as this one offer consumers an alluring opportunity to improve their mood and satisfy their craving for the outdoors.

For how circadian lighting can also help boost work performance, see Hacks for the Home Office.