Light and stress recovery

Investigating the influence of ambient lighting in a separation room of a psychiatric clinic on the stress recovery of patients

Group project Master Human-Technology Interaction
Client: Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Eindhoven (GGzE)

Light and stress recoveryB Light and stress recoveryB2 Light and stress recoveryB3


Separation rooms in psychiatric clinics have for a long time been designed with the goal of limiting all stimuli. Now a more adaptive approach slowly arises, allowing for different levels and different qualities of sensory stimulation. Recent studies show effects of both videos and light on stress levels.
To investigate the possible applications of this knowledge in a psychiatric clinic, a mock-up room of a separation room including an advanced Ambilight system with dynamic cove light and integrated display was built at the Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Eindhoven (GGzE). An experiment with a 3 by 2 mixed design was then performed, in which stress was induced using the Trier Social Stress Test before participants received a light treatment. This light treatment consisted of three different cove light settings between conditions, either with or without dynamic content being presented on the display within conditions. Stress levels were measured using State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaires and the data collection of Heart Rate Variability, Galvanic Skin Response and tension of the trapezoid muscle.
Results indicate that the integration of the display does have a positive effect on stress recovery, whereas the different cove light settings do not show effects for any of the indicators.


  • Physiological data measurement
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • ‚ÄčTrier test for stress inducement
  • Designing cove light