People often think that Mitsubishi is just a car manufacturer, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Mitsubishi Group, as it’s called, is a group made up of many autonomous Japanese multinational companies that span over a variety of industries. A core company of the group is Mitsubishi Electric, solely responsible for manufacturing architectural and electric equipment, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
The newest Mitsubishi Electric innovation is a lighting system that recreates sunrises, sunsets, and blue skies. You’re probably wondering how this can possibly relate to Mitsubishi Motors, but have no fear – we’ve got an answer for you. These types of lighting innovations can easily become a feature of Mitsubishi cars in the future, especially considering the increasing amount of time we spend during our daily commutes. Adding these types of panels to a car isn’t such a far-fetched idea, and they’d be a beneficial tool while commuting for people who combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Readers will be surprised to learn that light therapy has been deemed as an efficient way to treat SAD, but what is SAD exactly? SAD is a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change, particularly during fall and winter when the sunlight we receive begins to wane and becomes very limited. Common symptoms include irritability, mood swings, and sapped energy – but light boxes that replicate natural outdoor light have been shown to affect brain chemicals that are linked to sleep and mood, making them an effective tool to ease SAD symptoms.
While Mitsubishi Electric did not set out to manufacture these new lighting panels to combat SAD, there’s nothing that indicates they can’t be used to do so. Initially developed to modernize the workplace, Mitsubishi developed the enhanced lighting system to create comfortable and motivational work environments in office buildings that have either no windows at all or covered windows that limit the amount of natural light getting in. Unlike conventional LED lighting systems, Mitsubishi’s new system consists of panels that measure less than 100mm and incorporate an edge-lit method that emits a highly natural light from its sides – thus, producing a highly natural light whose colors are similar to sunrises, sunsets, and blue skies. Thanks to the new lighting system, indoor spaces feel more open because of the added depth and an enlarged sense of space.
The panels mimic the sky’s Rayleigh effect, the very same one that scatters short-wavelength blue light when sunlight strikes atmospheric air molecules during daytime making the sky appear blue to us from below. Automatically controlled throughout the day and arranged like tiles to cover large ceilings or walls, these panels will be making their way towards offices sometime soon. No production date has been announced as of yet, but the official introduction will take place at the CEATEC JAPAN 2018 exhibition later this month.
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s likely that this type of technology will make its way to the inside of cars sometime in the future. Commute times have been on the rise for the last 30-40 years, with the national average now at about 26 minutes – a significant 20% increase since the 1980s. The more time we spend indoors, be it in the car or at the office, limits our exposure to natural light, and thus automakers can easily market these light panels inside of a car as a health feature. Check out how the panels work below:
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