We were part of a research programme called Somnia which looked at ways of improving sleep for older people in the community and care homes.
It was found that many people were struggling with being able to reach for the belongings in the darkness and could benefit from access to a low-level light source to assist them.
Everyone who took part in the research were interviewed about their night-time routines and experiences. The majority of them kept important items on their bedside tables and were not able to get out of bed unaided.
Most of us need proper darkness in order to have a good night’s rest, but many of those people we spoke to were having to leave their bedroom rooms ajar to have access to the light from the hallway in order to find their possessions at night-time.
The Blys™ night light was the result of this piece of work. It is a sleek, modern light source which provides low-level lighting to enable easy access to essential personal possessions during the night, without disturbing sleep.
The positive comments we have received include:
“It was handy just being able to touch, it gave enough light to get out of bed.”
“The light was soft but enough to see what you are doing.”
“Such an unobtrusive light.”
Our Design Process
We wanted to find out the views of volunteer participants on their experience of using the night light. Did it make made any difference to the night time experience? Are there any barriers to using the night light and any opportunities for improvements to the product?
An initial prototype was produced and successfully evaluated by nursing home residents and people in their own home. One resident had been leaving her ensuite light on but felt able to turn it off with the reassurance of the tray nearby. Another who needed to use a lot of tissues during the night due to excess saliva also found it very helpful.
A wide range of items were placed on the night light during the trials – glasses, clock, phone, books, tablets, pen, drink and bedside lamps. All participants felt able to put everything they required on the tray.
The original design included compartments but these actually made it harder for people to access and arrange their belongings and was dropped from the final version.
Benefits and Features
- Simple touch sensitive panel control with choice of light intensities
- Hand contact anywhere along the front panel switches the unit on and off
- Brightness can be altered by the two small ‘bright’ and ‘dim’ touch zones
- Blys™ will also remember its previous light setting when switched off
- 4 non-slip feet
- Scratch resistant
- Spill proof
- Non-slip surface
- Available for delivery worldwide – it has a universal power supply with mains plugs to suit your country
- Power consumption is very low; less than 700mA at 5V. The unit does not get hot, even at the maximum brightness
Specifications and Guides
Blys™ measures 400mm by 400mm