Thousands of years of fireflies have led us to this
We think you’ll like our new lamp, HOVNÄS, but we’re not exactly sure why. A lot of research goes into creating all of our products, so we can understand what people want or need. When it comes to lighting, we’ve found that people have deep, instinctual responses to different sparkles or glows, but the reasons are harder to pin down.
“Certain characteristics of lighting do evoke different emotions,” says Daniel Hodierne, an award winning lighting designer working with ÅF Lighting in Sweden. “But there’s been no real solid scientific way of researching that.”
The first time Daniel saw HOVNÄS, he was reminded of fireflies dancing above tufts of grass. He noted the sparkle and brilliance of the bulbs, thinking people would find them exciting. Daniel has worked as a consultant with the designers and developers at IKEA, sharing his insights about the human connection to lighting. There are a few tangible, scientific ways to measure how light affects us. UVB rays from sunshine enable our bodies to create vitamin D, for instance. And, certain hormones we produce, like cortisol and melatonin, are affected by light too. What we can’t really measure is our emotional response. “Most people look up and go ‘ooh, ahh, wow’ when they see fireworks,” says Daniel. “It’s a natural thing to be drawn towards flashes of lights and sparkles.”
An emotional connection
“HOVNÄS is like static fireworks that are always on,” says Elin Wrengler Dias, an IKEA product developer. “There’s something with this sparkly object that adds to the atmosphere and ambience of the room.” Humans have a long and intimate relationship with light. For thousands of years we sought warmth and comfort by the fire, felt awed by the twinkling night sky and were ruled by the rhythm of the sun. We may not be able to measure it, but the connection we feel to light is very real. “It just makes you feel at peace. It’s very relaxing and soothing to see a lot of small lights,” says Elin. “If we were to analyze it—which we have tried—it is a connection with nature,” she adds. “Sometimes you cannot explain it in this modern world, but it makes you feel good.”