Éléonore Delisse’s Day & Night light
A lamp conscious of the impact our environment has on our daily lives
Éléonore Delisse’s Day & Night light is a lamp conscious of the impact our environment has on our daily lives, which is why I think it is good design.
The lamp uses a pane of circular dichroic glass which rotates in order to give off different colours of light depending on the time of day. In the morning, at 6am, the lamp starts off with a dark blue light and gradually over six hours makes a half revolution producing a brighter and brighter blue. The light turns off at noon and does nothing until 6pm when it turns on again with a yellowish light. Over the next six hours it makes another half a revolution producing a darker, deeper, warmer red the later it gets until midnight when it turns off again. Warmer coloured light tends to encourage our bodies in the production of melatonin making us sleepier while blue light discourages the production of melatonin, so the overall effect of the light is intended to rebalance our circadian rhythm.
Éléonore Delisse’s interest in the effect colour has on our behaviour lead to an insight: “perceiving colours at a certain time of the day affects both your energy levels and mood” . This lead her onto think about “the effect a constant coloured rhythm exudes on what our brain makes us think and do. And thus affect the way we perceive time”.
I admire Delisse’s insight: she has observed how a factor of our environment effects our behaviour, she then translated her insight into a strikingly beautiful object. Design shapes our environment and our environment in turn shapes our behaviours, emotions, the way we think, which gives designers an incredible responsibility and opportunity. I think lots of the time, designers get hung up on unimportant details and forget about how aspects of the object they are designing can effect us on a deeper, subconscious level and how this effects our health and well being. For instance, up until recently, designers of consumer electronics take no notice of how the light from screens disrupts our circadian rhythm which has been shown in studies to contribute to cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. I say “until recently” because about a year ago Apple introduced “night mode”, a feature which automatically adjusts the colours of your phones display to create a warmer glow in the evening. This was only after removing an app, Flux, from the app store which provided the same service, first. This is obviously a step in the right direction, it’s just a shame that Apple crushed Flux for iOS in the process.
I find it interesting that colours have particular feelings associated with them and for people with synesthesia, feelings have colours. I believe that even people without Synesthesia, feelings have colours, it’s just most people are not so attuned to their senses and perceptions. I think the relation between ours senses and emotions should be explored more. I find it fascinating that our senses perceive our environment and shape our emotions which can shape our health and well being. I think it is impressive how Delisse has tapped into this with her Day and Night light.
What I also like about the Day & Night light, is that it is a good example of inclusive design. Delisse looked at traditional SAD lights and noticed that they were all ugly, plasticy and medical looking, not very therapeutic. So, she made a beautiful lamp that can be used for light therapy but it is not limited to SAD sufferers. Traditional SAD lights use the irradiance of light (concentration of lux) to improve symptoms but the Day & Night lamp uses a regular cycle of colour to improve sleeping patterns, which would help not only SAD sufferers but the vast majority of people.
Éléonore Delisse’s Day & Night light
Our environment is an extension to our bodies and there for key to our health and well being.
The lamp uses a pane of circular dichroic glass to rebalance our circadian rhythm.