How BioCentric Lighting helps prematurely born children
The long term goal for BrainLit is to improve the quality of life for its customers and their employees. In the hospital of Helsingborg, this vision is put to the test in a very challenging environment. The BioCentric Lighting system is provided in the neonatal ward to help prematurely born children gain the necessary strength and to assist strained parents and staff to manage the daily pressure.
– The children are extremely fragile at this state and need a lot of darkness, so having the night light on during the day helps them to adjust slowly and carefully. Their movements and facial expressions tell us when they feel better and can start to get used to daylight. For the parents, the light system is also comforting while they have to stay with their child in the intensive care rooms, nurse Annette Velin, who works in the neonatal ward, explains.
The hospital has four emergency rooms where children and parents can stay during the most critical days. Currently, the rooms are being fitted with amber lighting to complete the array of simulated natural light providing both stimulation and comfort for children and parents.
– Parents tell us about the extreme pressure of having children who are so weak that they need intensive care. But the lighting system helps them regulate how they can hold the child in their arms or have it in the incubator, which relieves some of the strain. Later, when they can move to a regular care room, they wish to keep the light. Unfortunately, this is not an option at the moment, says Annika Rosén, head of the department that contains the neonatal ward.
She has been involved in the BioCentric Lighting project at the hospital ever since it started more than two years ago. The origin was Lighting Metropolis, a cooperation between universities, private businesses and the public sector, funded by the European Union. Within the Greater Copenhagen area, the goal was to create environments to benefit general health and well-being. Annika Rosén was appointed the project manager and brought her own experience working with prematurely born children into it.
– Previously, the staff had to work in the dark with the lights extinguished to spare the strain on the children. The whole shift would be spent in the dark, now they have a work environment adapted for their tasks instead.
– Having once worked as a nurse in the neonatal ward, I knew how vital good light conditions are for the children. They have not yet developed enough to withstand bright lights and loud noises, so being able to set the light to follow the different times of the day and the care situation was a wonderful opportunity, Annika Rosén remembers.
BioCentric Lighting and BrainLit were still in its early stages when the project started, which made the system and the company grow and adjust to the very demanding task to help fragile children and distraught parents manage their ordeal. The system was tested in different environments and adapted to these very particular requests with physicians and light designers working together, creating the perfect light recipe. In March of 2018 the neonatal ward moved into its new premises, equipped with BioCentric Lighting.
– Previously, the staff had to work in the dark with the lights extinguished to spare the strain on the children. The whole shift would be spent in the dark, now they have a work environment adapted for their tasks instead, Annika Rosén says.
The night shift at the neonatal ward works from 21.00 to 07.00. In winter, they may not see natural light at all, since they need to sleep when their shift is over. The circadian rhythm is disrupted – the very problem BioCentric Lighting was invented to help people working indoors coping with. So apart from the emergency rooms having luminaires adapted to the needs of the children and parents, the staff has a meeting room equipped with a light shower.
– In the wolf hour between 03 and 04 at night, up to four people can simultaneously have a shower of bright light fitted to make us more energized for another hour or two. We feel more awake and the legs stop tingling. When I first heard about BioCentric Lighting, I found it hard to believe. But the more you learn, the more amazing it becomes, nurse Annette Velin says.
The EU sponsored project is over, but the partnership between BrainLit and Helsingborg hospital is only beginning. As the hospital is being modernized, BioCentric Lighting is installed in another two floors of its new wing.
– My wish is for other hospitals to benefit from our partnership here and the new knowledge it has produced. Hospitals all over the region can improve their care of patients as well as promoting the well-being of their staff by using our model, Annika Rosén concludes.
Survey proves how BioCentric Lighting improves well-being at the neonatal ward
Two years after BioCentric Lighting was installed at the neonatal ward in Helsingborg hospital, a survey was made among the staff. The result was compared to an identical survey made before the ward moved into its new facilities, equipped with BioCentric Lighting. And the results were unambiguous: sleep had improved and the frequency of eye conditions decreased.
– The results were very positive, demonstrating less problems with the eyes, fewer headaches, all over the board. The staff feels their new work environments are beneficial to their health and well-being. Not only the light – but especially the light! says Annika Rosén, head of the department that contains the neonatal ward.
The surveys consisted of 30 different questions regarding the staff’s health and experiences of the working conditions. Remarkably, every single category, points to an improvement after BioCentric Lighting was installed. The issue of headaches staying with the staff even during days off had completely been eliminated.
– This is why BrainLit exists. Of course, we want to grow as a company, but the reason for the company being here is to improve the health and well-being of the employees of our customers. To be able to help prematurely born children, their parents and the staff caring for them is an amazing feeling, says BrainLit CEO Niclas Möttus Olsson.
BrainLit’s BioCentric Lighting energizes ice hockey team Jokerit
Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) club Jokerit is one of the first sport customers to install BioCentric Lighting™ by Swedish company BrainLit AB inside their dressing rooms. The BioCentric Lighting™ system provides athletes a range of performance advantages in training, game preparation and recovery.
As one of the leading European hockey clubs, Jokerit is always eager to find innovative ways to enhance their player performance through state-of-the-art equipment and technology within its training facility and arena. Their management and coaches view BrainLit as a natural way to maximize performance for their athletes.
– The importance of recovery in top sports is extremely high and we always want to provide our players with the best possible conditions for success. With new technology, we are able to ease the stress that players face over a long period of time. KHL travels between different time zones, so there is a lot of strain on games and practice as well. With BrainLit’s BioCentric Lighting ™ system, we return faster and it has immediately made a positive impact on players,” says Jari Kurri, chairman of Jokerit.
– We believe that BrainLit will quickly become a standard, a ”must have” -technology for elite level sports venues around the globe.
BrainLit’s solutions mimics natural daylight to offer positive effects on circadian rhythms in individual athletes. BioCentric Lighting™uses sensors and lighting recipes, based on the daylight needs of individuals, work groups or sports teams. Recently, BrainLit AB launched its new Finnish subsidiary BrainLit Sport to enter the global sports market and introduce a unique platform.
– We believe that BrainLit will quickly become a standard, a ”must have” -technology for elite level sports venues around the globe. This will be an essential piece of architecture of any world-class sport training facility, arena or stadium, notes Mika Sulin, Chairman of the Board at BrainLit Oy, the Finnish subsidiary managing the sports and fitness sector for BrainLit.
Natural light is the most important external synchronizer for the circadian rhythms in the human body. Research suggests that a balanced circadian rhythm has a favorable impact on human performance, particularly improving sleep quality, alertness, immune strength, energy and general wellbeing. There is a rapidly growing interest within sports industry in the use of light to improve athletic performance.
GRAND HOTEL LUND
Historical Grand Hotel Lund keeps conference guests alert with BCL
Since it was built in 1899, the Grand Hotel Lund has been a landmark in the famous academic capital of Sweden: Lund, hometown of BrainLit. The vision of manager Maria Paulsson, whose family has curated the prestigious hotel for almost 40 years, is to restore the building to its condition over a century ago, while picking a few, choice modern innovations to stay current. Among these, BioCentric Lighting, which has recently been installed in the three conference rooms offered to customers.
– I first saw BioCentric Lighting at the Hotel Skansen in the coastal city of Båstad and found it very interesting. Then I looked closer at it in the BrainLit office, situated in the top modern building The Spark here in Lund. It gave a peculiar impression, from outside the building it appeared almost phosphorescent, but inside of it the bright lights were so pleasant. Then I considered how it would feel in the Grand Hotel’s antiquated environment, Maria Paulsson tells us.
Installing the cutting-edge technology of BioCentric Lighting with its combination of panel lights and spotlights in the historical premises proved an unusual challenge for the management of Grand Hotel Lund and a team from BrainLit. The auditorium named Piraten, ”The Pirate”, after local author Frithiof Nilsson Piraten, was furnished in the 1980:s and thus not very problematic. But the combined conference room and ballroom Lukas, with its stucco and chandeliers, was quite another matter.
– Something was lacking: the equipment in the meeting rooms themselves. The lighting is crucial, but nobody will reflect on how important it actually is.
– Our interior architecht, Eva Nyström, and the BrainLit team had a meeting where they demonstrated the luminaires and made her think that yes, we could make this work. Keeping the historical feel of the hotel is so important to us. In the last half decade, the meeting industry has been attempting to invent creative meeting rooms in order to create think tanks. Our customers are engineers in stylish suits, we’re not going to place them in beanbag chairs, but to treat both them and our premises with respect, Maria Paulsson says.
Grand Hotel Lund is situated 100 meters from the third largest central station in Sweden. After over a century, it’s obvious that the surroundings, the building itself and the atmosphere are beloved by customers. And the current cuisine is famous with customers from all of South Sweden and Denmark gathering in the dining room. But despite the settings, conferences lasting one or more full days are a challenge for the delegates.
– Something was lacking: the equipment in the meeting rooms themselves. The lighting is crucial, but nobody will reflect on how important it actually is. You enter the room and notice a pleasant fragrance and nice surroundings – and then the conference itself starts. After a while, if the light is insufficient, your eyes will tire and you will start to lose concentration. You may start to blame everything from a heavy luncheon to the stuffing of your chair – but not the light! Maria Paulsson explains.
– The simplicity of the operation once BioCentric Lighting was installed most certainly was a deciding factor.
The quality of the lighting and its impact of the conference delegates was however not the only deciding factor. The simplicity in operating the system also weighed heavily when the decision was made to installing BioCentric Lighting. Despite the heritage of the Grand Hotel itself, the organization is rather slim, with no 24/7 access to tech support.
– It had to be plug and play. Hotel people are not very skilled when it comes to IT, our purpose is to provide service for others. Standing around, pressing buttons at random and waiting for the real support to arrive is horribly stressful for all of us. So the simplicity of the operation once BioCentric Lighting was installed most certainly was a deciding factor. That and BrainLit being a local Lund company, I’m not certain we would have made this installation without a local partner, Maria Paulsson says.
The project lasted 18 months from idea to reality, and was picking up speed in the beginning of 2020 and was planned for the Swedish Spring break in late February and early March, when few conferences were planned. Despite the corona pandemic basically reducing the number of conferences and meetings to zero, the installation went ahead as scheduled.
– At the time, the investment felt like a burden because nobody knows yet if the conference business will ever again be what it used to. But doing nothing was never an option. Now only 49 people are allowed to gather, so we have turned the Piraten auditorium into a hybrid meeting place. I am a firm believer in hybrid meetings with 49 people in the audience and others participating online, and the perfect light from BrainLit is an important factor for the quality of the livestream, says Maria Paulsson.
The Grand Hotel may not be finished with its BioCentric Lighting installations yet. Now Maria Paulsson has her eyes set on the reception area and the kitchen.
– Our staff work from early morning to late in the evening. Imagine working in that environment with this lighting! she concludes.
Enjoying BioCentric Lighting in the middle of a pandemic
–When we moved here, there were fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling. They are the worst! Now, it feels like we brought the sun with us indoors.
Carl-Henric Nilsson, CEO of Kunskapspartner, points at the rails in the ceiling where the fluorescents used to be fastened. They are all that remains of the insufficient light sources that he and his employees had to settle for prior to installing BioCentric Lighting. Now, what BrainLit calls ”the sun and sky system”, recreating natural light conditions by combining panel lights and spotlights, makes the surroundings bright as day.
Kunskapspartner is situated in an upstairs office at Ideon Science Park of Lund, the hometown of BrainLit and only five minutes walking distance away from the provider of the new light sources that he is demonstrating. The large second floor windows provide natural sunlight from both sides. To the naked eye it looks precisely like the indoor lighting.
– We are all biological machines, controlled by algorithms. The light we are exposed to is one of the most important inputs for that machine. And now we get the same light as if we were out hunting on the savannah. It doesn’t get more natural than that, this is the kind of light we are all made to thrive in, says Carl-Henric Nilsson.
BioCentric Lighting was installed in the office at the worst time possible, February of 2020. Just a couple of weeks later, the corona pandemic started spreading in Sweden and for the small consulting company, new considerations had to be made almost overnight. Normally eight people are based here, but right now, Carl-Henric Nilsson is on his own.
– Personally, I’m here in the office more than ever, the level of energy is so high in this place that I immediately feel more active myself.
– Everyone decides where to work now, here, at home or in the field. Personally, I’m here in the office more than ever, the level of energy is so high in this place that I immediately feel more active myself. And activity is contagious in the best of ways, we all simply get more work done in the office so coming here is natural even when it’s not necessary, he says.
When customers, mostly small to medium sized local and regional companies, come to the Kunskapspartner office for a meeting, the unusually bright lights tend to attract both attention and curiosity.
After having BioCentric Lighting installed in the office, he finds going to sleep at night is much easier.
– The immediate reaction is that it’s very bright here, or a lot of lux for us folks with an engineering background. After being here for just a short while, everywhere else seems dim and badly lit. Customers and partners who experience our lighting for the first time are intrigued and want to know more about it, he explains.
It’s not just a general feeling, Carl-Henric Nilsson carefully monitors his sleep using a smart watch and an app on his cell phone. After having BioCentric Lighting installed in the office, he finds going to sleep at night is much easier.
– At nights I get more tired, which is a good thing. After boosting my system with daytime hormones at work, my body feels that the day is over, it’s time for something else and thus it starts to unwind.
He is not only a happy enjoyer of Biocentric Lighting, but also a proud early shareholder of BrainLit. When he talks about his first experience of BrainLit, it is with the voice of someone who has made a great find, not to mention a bargain.
– I already knew BrainLit founder Tord Wingren when he started the company, he was very enthusiastic about its potential. Knowing very little about the biological effects of light beforehand and not even having seen the product, I made myself familiar with it and understood the magnitude of this innovation. BrainLit has the makings of a large international company, like Lund based IT consultants Axis – or even Tetra Pak, which was also once a small company, Carl-Henric Nilsson concludes.