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12 November, 2015 - 12:37 By Tony Quested

Cambridge tech lights up life for SAD sufferers

Lucie light SAD

A Cambridge UK business whose lighting technology helps people fight off the winter blues is seeing significant growth nationally and overseas, particularly throughout Europe and Scandinavia as well as North America and Canada.

Lumie is a light therapy specialist that develops products to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and works closely with FedEx Express to deliver its products globally.

Given the time of year, Lumie is experiencing a significant spike in business – shipping activity doubles during this period and each darker month accounts for approximately 20 per cent of annual business. Based on rigorous research and innovative design, and classified as medical devices, the company's diverse product range has seen turnover grow by 50 per cent in just four years.

A continual lack of natural light can cause serotonin and melatonin levels in the body to drop, triggering the symptoms of depression. Up to 24 per cent of the UK population experience the winter blues and of those, around seven per cent have such bad symptoms because of SA, that they struggle to function normally.

Since 1991 Lumie has been at the forefront of countering the condition. Jonathan Cridland, CEO of Lumie, said: “Our founder Steve Hayes identified a need for light therapy products in the UK. He developed a light box to increase the body’s natural production of mood and energy boosting hormones, such as serotonin.”

Lumie later went onto invent integrated dawn simulators, also known as wake-up lights.

Dawn simulation is a method of resetting the body clock to adapt to a new sleep/wake cycle by simulating the rising and setting sun. This can benefit people, who struggle to wake in the morning, shift workers, travellers suffering from jet lag and SAD patients.

The Lumie Bodyclock range features a simulated sunrise and sunset to help people wake-up and fall asleep in the best way possible. Based on rigorous research and innovative design, and classified as medical devices, the company's diverse product range has seen turnover grow by 50 per cent in just four years.

Lumie is Europe’s leading light therapy specialist, with customers throughout Europe, North America and Australia. “The interest we’ve had from Europe, especially further north where winters are long and dark, has been phenomenal,” says Cridland.

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