Students’ test results increase by 12% thanks to the right lighting

28 January 2020


A new field study by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark has shown that intermediate-level
students perform 12% better in math tests under biocentric lighting. Lund-based company BrainLit supplied
the system controlling the biocentric lighting, which is based on, among other things, Nobel prize-winning
research on circadian rhythms.

The indoor environment plays a crucial role in the ability of school pupils to absorb and process information.
Furthermore, a new study considers the lighting environment to be a decisive factor. The study looked at
how the performance of 92 Danish pupils in fourth and fifth grade was affected by things like lighting during
a four-week period in October and November 2019. The lighting environment consisted of a blue-tone
biocentric light averaging 748 lux adapted to mimic the daylight cycle, as compared with a traditional
yellow-tone constant light at 447 lux.

Considerable differences were found between the pupils’ results in the two different lighting environments,
with a 12% improvement in math results under the biocentric light compared with the constant light. Speed
and concentration measured using a d2 test also increased by 5.4% and 6.1% respectively.

– The study clearly shows that, having lived ten thousand generations according to daylight cycles, we
humans still need natural light to perform at our best and feel well, despite many of us spending much of
our time indoors, says Dr. Klas Sjöberg of Lund University, a BrainLit scientific council member whose
research focuses on the impact of light on health.

The light measured in the study was developed by Lund-based company BrainLit as a systemic solution to
the problem of our spending less time in daylight than we’ve done for ten thousand generations. The
solution consists of sensors and algorithms that control the lighting based on the daylight needs of
individuals or groups. In practice, this involves BrainLit’s system using various lights that mimic daylight
indoors throughout the day to enable the eyes’ ganglia cells to signal to the body that it should adjust the
production of the sleep hormone melatonin for stable circadian rhythms.

– Our idea is simple and based on using advanced technology that allows indoor lighting to mimic
daylight in order to make us feel good. We believe that within a few years, people will be happy only
with lighting that also has a positive impact on their wellbeing, says BrainLit CEO Niclas Möttus Olsson.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for research on our circadian rhythms and
explains how plants, animals, and people optimize their physiology to prepare for the various phases of the
day. Light is the most important factor in controlling circadian rhythms.

The study was published on 13 January 2020 in Building and Environment by researchers at the Technical
University of Denmark. BrainLit had no involvement in the study.

For more information:
Niclas Möttus Olsson, CEO at BrainLit AB, +46 (0)720-25 55 63
Mikael Lagerwall, Press Officer at BrainLit AB, +46 (0)708-47 21 00

The study is available to read here.

BrainLit was founded in 2012 by Tord Wingren, a telecoms aficionado and one of the creators of Bluetooth.
Fast forward to the present day and the company is run from its head office in Medicon Village in Lund by
CEO Niclas Olsson with the support of a dedicated team, board, and commercial and scientific councils
based on a number of patent families. The objective is to spread biocentric light around the world to
increase the wellbeing of humankind under the slogan “Energizing People™”.