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Readers will be surprised to learn that the Mitsubishi brand isn’t only about the automaker, but a much larger conglomerate that encompasses many other independent Japanese multinational companies presiding over a variety of industries. Mitsubishi Electric, one of the core companies within the umbrella, is a major manufacturer of architectural and electric equipment that’s headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company recently made the news thanks to their press release that has developed an indoor lighting technology that mimics the change in natural light throughout the day, from sunrise to blue skies to sunset. You may be wondering how this could possibly be of any relevance to Mitsubishi Motors, but it wouldn’t be a far fetched idea to think that in the near future this type of tech will become a feature in cars as a solid way to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD as it’s more commonly known, is a seasonally-driven depression caused by the reduction in sunlight that we experience during the fall and winter months. As the days get shorter, people are exposed less and less to direct sunlight, causing an increase in the production of melatonin, which regulates sleep. People will get increasingly sleepier and more lethargic, with delayed sleeping patterns and a propensity for mood swings and irritability.
How does light therapy help combat SAD?
Light therapy is customarily used to treat SAD symptoms by exposing patients to artificial light. Lightboxes, as they’re often called, mimic the natural light of the outdoors that’s been demonstrated to affect brain chemicals (like melatonin that we mentioned earlier) that are linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms.
The Mitsubishi Electric Lighting System
Mitsubishi Electric’s new lighting system is comprised of thin panels and frames that measure less than 100mm and incorporate an edge-lit method that radiates LED light from the sides to mimic the depth of natural light. The panels mimic the sky’s Rayleigh scattering effect - the effect that when sunlight strikes atmospheric air molecules during the daytime, it scatters short-wavelength blue light that makes the sky appear blue from below. Mitsubishi electric hopes to modernize the office space with these light panels, especially targeting office buildings and floors that have covered windows or no windows at all. The lighting system will make its official debut later this month when it’s shown at the CEATEC JAPAN 2018 exhibit later this month, with the production and commercial release dates still pending.
Check out how the panels operate below:
It’s no secret that daily commutes have been on the rise since the 1980’s, with the national average now at about 27 minutes - making it likely that this type of lighting technology will become a commonly-integrated feature inside cars in the future. The more time we spend inside a car, combined with the amount of time we spend indoors within our office walls, severely limits the amount of natural light we get. Automakers can easily install these lighting panels and market them as additional health features, making riding in a car a bit more beneficial in the long run.
We are probably still a few years away from lightbox therapy being a component in cars, but remember that NowCar makes it convenient for you to search or even build a vehicle with all the features you desire. With our free delivery options to anywhere within the continental U.S., and the ability to search for a vehicle from the comfort of your home or office, it’s hard to find a reason why you should ever set foot on a dealer lot ever again.
Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric