Light therapy used at Swedish bus stops amid winter blues

As the days continue to grow shorter in the north of Sweden, a local utility company is hoping to help people shake seasonal depression with light therapy at bus stops. Residents in the university town of Umeå are being treated to artificial sunlight over the frigid winter months at area bus stops. The phototherapy tubes are already in use at 30 different locations, according to a report published by Popsci.

Officials from Umeå Engergi said, “Winter is in many ways a fantastic season, with the darkness and the cosy atmosphere. But when the sun appears as a minimum, [we] need the energy the most,” Popsci.com reports.

Umeå is located more than 480 miles north of the Swedish capital of Stockholm, and only sees around five hours of sunlight in late November, dwindling to around four hours by the winter solstice. Locals have said this year also feels especially dark due to a lack of snow on the ground.

The lights are entirely powered with hydroelectric, wind and solar energy. Although they provide the illusion of sunlight, the tubes are made to filter out all UV radiation, officials said.

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