UK & World News
Bus Stop Light Therapy Dazzles Drivers
A Swedish company that fitted bus stops with UV lights to help combat commuters' winter blues has had to change tack after drivers complained of being dazzled.
Umea Energi installed the lights at about 30 bus stops last week in the northern town of Umea to treat commuters to some light therapy, a common treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.
The disorder is particularly trying for those in Scandinavia - much of Sweden is plunged into long, dark winters, often with lots of snow.
However, the good intentions of the company quickly backfired when the glow proved too much for bus drivers.
The energy company's marketing chief Anna Norgaard told Sky News they were forced to take some of the lights down as they had "a lot of complaints".
"When the drivers went to pick up the people up at the bus stop they had to look into the strong light and they could not see properly," she said.
"So we had to make some adjustments."
To solve the problem, Ms Norgaard said they put up plastic shields around five of the lights. For the rest, they moved the lights to the outside of the bus shelter.
Despite the complaints, she said many commuters were positive about the lights, which will be in place for the next three weeks.
"People have been very happy about it," she said. "They can get a little energy kick while they are waiting."
Ms Norgaard said the energy for the lights comes from solar, wind and hydroelectric sources. Any harmful rays from the lights have been filtered out, the company said.
The sun in Umea, about 600km north of the capital Stockholm, currently rises at about 8am (local time) and sets at 3pm.
The daylight hours are shortest in December, when the sun comes up at around 10am and disappears again at around 2.30pm.