Manchester-based lighting company Valuelights, part of the LSE Retail Group founded in 2011, recently ran a competition to raise awareness of how calming sensory lights for autism can have a positive effect on children; helping develop, balance and encourage creativity and well-being within the home.
Research between lighting and autism has brought to the public’s attention numerous positive associations between color and mood. Certain colors, such as blue, can help towards creativity and calmness, with mood lighting adding to a happy, creative environment.
Children’s moods are strongly affected by lighting: for some it provides a calming, soothing effect and for others it acts as a stimulant. Harsh lighting can often hurt the eyes of a person with autism. Flickering, humming lights can be very distracting and sometimes painful. It’s often advised to use adjustable lighting in order to create a calming effect. Certain light levels and colors can be beneficial and the ability to control visual stimuli within the space is important.
Creating a sensory room can aid to stimulate, develop and balance a person’s sensory system. Sensory rooms can include: soothing music, vibrating cushions, fiber optics, mirror balls, bubble tubes, water beds, tactile walls, disco lights, projectors and equipment that is activated by switches, movement, sound or pressure, so that a child can learn about cause and effect.
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The competition was to find the best lighting for autism held by Valuelights. It included such creative sensory lighting as tornadoes, bubble fish, color changing LED lights and rocket-shaped lava lamps. The idea behind the campaign was to reject the idea of lighting being a purely functional commodity and making it something fun, creative and exciting within the home environment. The colorful bubble tubes create a sensory calming experience and a creative focal point to captivate a child’s imagination.
Bubble tube lamps are often used for children with sensory processing disorder as they are able to gain a positive response to the color and movement, tracking the bubbles which helps with visual eye development. The Valuelights Aquarium range uses LED lighting that will not become hot, making them ideal for use as a soothing night light with color changing effects that will be interactive by day and act as a sensory night light for autistic children. The Valuelights mood lighting range allows children to concentrate and focus in a positive, fun and creative way.
Valuelights competition winner Simon Knuckley from Cornwall said the calming sensory lights he received is already benefitting his son, Kian. “The lights are absolutely fantastic. As soon as the bubble lamp arrived my son was taken with the warm glow; an emotional moment to see him so happy. Kian sits near the lamp every evening for about 10 minutes before bedtime. With his autism everything is repetitive, so he carries out the same activities each day.
The noise of the machine makes him hum along and when the light blue LED light comes on he smiles and giggles,” Knunckly said. “Ensuring Kian’s sensory needs are met on a daily basis is so vital and it’s great that for a few moments in my son’s day-to-day life he can get happiness simply through lighting!”
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Sensory Mood Lighting
To find out more about Valuelights mood lighting range and learn about more competitions:
Use SENSORY10 at the checkout to receive a 10% discount.
This article was featured in Issue 29 – Finding New Ways to Thrive