Sound Lighting

It is generally well known that you can fight winter depression with light therapy. But not as many people are aware that light can do much more to benefit people’s health and performance in general. Researchers in the Sound Lighting program explore other applications of light that could be beneficial to health and well-being.

Research Update

People feel more energetic after an hour of brighter light exposure
Recent research has shown beneficial effects of exposure to bright light on alertness and vitality, but little is known about these effects outside the confines of the laboratory yet. We investigated the relation between daytime light exposure and vitality in persons’ everyday life: For three days in a row, persons wore a light measurement device close to their eye. The device looks like a pair of glasses, but logs the amount of light falling on their eyes throughout the day. In addition, they reported how they felt every hour via an app installed on a mobile phone. Otherwise, they just went about their business throughout the three days of measurement

Results showed that persons felt more energetic when they were exposed to more light during the previous hour.These findings suggest the relevance of our daily light exposure patterns for mental well-being, even for young healthy people, in everyday life.


Smolders, K. C. H. J., de Kort, Y. A. W. & van den Berg, S. (2013). Diurnal light exposure and feelings of vitality: Results of a field study during regular weekdays. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 270-279.

Yvonne de Kort at 7th DIN Expert Panel 2013
Yvonne de Kort has delivered a lecture at the 7th DIN Expert Panel 2013. This conference was focused on the effect of light on human beings. An abstract of her lecture can be viewed here (2:40 – 5:12 min).

  • Objective: to develop a lighting system that will optimally benefit the physical and mental well-being of people and human behavior in general, with minimal environmental impact
  • Program Manager: Yvonne de Kort, University Lecturer of Human Technology Interaction
  • Thought Leader: Cees Midden, Professor of Culture & Technology, Human Technology Interaction
  • Partners: Philips Lighting, Philips Research, Somfy, Scheuten Solar, Peer+, Davita and GGzE

"The desire to capture what light can do is what Sound Lighting is all about…”

“That first ray of sunshine in the spring. Why does that give us such a good feeling? Light inspires me as both a human being and a researcher. I’m fascinated by what light can do. The desire to capture that, that’s what Sound Lighting is all about…”
Yvonne de Kort
(Program Manager Sound Lighting)