Nowadays, light is used for medical purposes to treat many different illnesses.
One of the many illnesses is the seasonal affective disorder. The best cure is the natural sunlight for this disorder, but the technology has let us create a product called the light box, which omits artificial light that is as intense as the sun light. These light boxes are almost like an everyday object to the people with the disorder, so it seems like careful considerations were taken into account when designing the “boxes.” There is a wide variety of light box designs, and they come in many different sizes and forms to fit into any kind of environment.
Among many different types of lights, the far infrared lights are known to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, better blood circulation and fast recovery. The far infrared light is actually a band of light that we perceive as heat, and it is capable of penetrating deeper into human body without heating the air in between. The far infrared activate and ionize the water molecules in human body and aids in the healing and beauty purposes. Considering the fact that human bodies are composed of 90% water, the effect is tremendous. Nowadays, there are many different products to get the help of far infrared light therapy, such as a sauna box, light box, and so on.
The concept of light therapy has been adopted by the MINI Cooper. MINI Cooper has a feature called “mood lighting,” and lights are embedded in the interior of the car, like in the armrests and the footwells, in addition to the standard map and dome lighting. The colors range from blue through pink to orange, and different colors are to reflect different moods of the driver. Colored lights have been proved to have a significant impact on people’s moods, and MINI Cooper cleverly incorporated this concept into the design in order to provide the driver and the passengers with a more enjoyable experience.
Above is Apple’s MacBook Pro, with its “breathing” LED. Apple computers have this unique feature of breathing status LED indicator, which indicates when the computer is in the sleep mode. The blinking rate mimics the typical rhythm of breathing. This usage of light does not serve any medical purposes, but I found it relevant to the topic, since the calm, rhythmic “breathing” is almost therapeutic and Zen-like in a way. It is definitely not something that would be prescribed by a therapist or a doctor, but it has a pleasant visual appeal, and its anthropomorphic characteristic draws the user’s attention. It is an interesting and intriguing way of incorporating light into the design to make the product more engaging.
Lights are just versatile and can be applied to anything. As we have seen, even the concepts that were originally developed for medical purposes can be adapted to serve entertainment purpose in everyday life.