Umea, about 300 miles north of Stockholm, recently installed ultra-violet lights at about 30 bus stops, replacing the regular lamps with specially designed phototherapy tubes. The town receives only about five hours of sunlight this time of year, and that number shrinks to four hours in mid-December.
The lights, powered by solar, wind and hydroelectric sources, are intended to combat seasonal affective disorder. “Winter is in many ways a fantastic season, with the darkness and the cozy atmosphere,” explains a translation of the website for Umea Energi, which installed the lights. “But when the sun appears as a minimum, (we) need the energy the most.”
The phototherapy tubes filter out any harmful UV rays, so commuters don’t have to worry about getting a seasonally improbable sunburn.
Put on your sunglasses and take a closer look below at this rendering from Umea Energi’s site: