Betsie Van der Meer/Corbis
Paul Panayiotou/Grand Tour/Corbis
David Terrazas Morales/Corbis
Cees van Nile/Corbis
Eric Raptosh Photography/Blend Images/Corbis
As the days grow shorter for those of us in the northern hemisphere, we become increasingly aware of our emotional, social and logistical dependence on light. Such reliance is leading to an array of new products and innovations that emphasize and celebrate illumination in various forms. From technologies that support mood-enhancing rays to lighting designs that can replicate and reset our biometric rhythms, more environmental designers are studying and experimenting with light’s ability to lift the spirit and improve health and wellbeing. Others are exploring light’s potential to improve cities and bring communities together by breathing new life (or in this case, light) into dilapidated urban spaces with creative lighting displays that improve safety and enable community life after dark. Rural areas of Africa are also reaping the rewards of light, where hundreds of “light centers” provide much-needed areas for healthcare, education and social events after the sun has gone down, creating more opportunities for community support and development. While the glow of our electronic devices may sometimes be the closest thing that many of us get to “light therapy,” the power of light is improving our lives and communities in new ways every day. Whether it’s the beautification and creation of unique spaces or lighting that elicits a greater sense of calm and tranquility, a greater understanding and use of light has ensured a brighter future for us all.
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