Lighting up an entire community

The town that is no longer in darkness.

For many months of the year, the beautiful, tranquil, if extremely isolated Norwegian village of Longyearbyen is cloaked in prolonged darkness. It is in fact the world’s northernmost inhabited area which means that the families who live there must spend entire days without any access to the sun.

Not only is it an extreme experience for the community there, but it can also lead to many kinds of sleep-related health problems, such as sleep inertia, because residents begin to lose the feeling of change from night to day. They can no longer tell the difference. 

One thing we know is that our body clocks are very sensitive and very adaptable to light and this is why we have developed the wake-up light."


Dan Adams

Light Therapy Expert, Philips

Philips researchers, however, have transformed this with some very smart, simple and affordable applied technology. The Philips Wake-up Light, designed to aid the body’s internal clock uses a unique combination of light and sound to wake you in a more natural way and make it easier to get out of bed. The Philips Wake-up light shows how technology can be both caring and impactful. Our body clocks are incredibly sensitive to light, so when there isn’t any natural sunlight, sleep hormones aren’t ‘washed out’ which means that getting up for school at 8am – in complete darkness - can be painfully difficult. The Philips Wake-up Light mimics the effects of a sunrise, gradually streaking into a room so as to help regulate the body clock and banish that feeling of grogginess.

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