“Light Up the Dark” Sweden’s way to Increase active play
“Light Up the Dark” Sweden’s way to Increase active play

Playgrounds are the essential tools that contribute significantly towards children’s development, both physical and cognitive. Recently, there has been an increased shift in children’s everyday activities, thanks to the never ending collection of games and digital toys that keep children busy. To make sure that the children spend more time outdoor than indoor, Philips decided to lighten up the parks. This post will highlight the project and its outcome.

According to Philips spokesperson:

“If we can adapt technology to suit people’s needs, then we can create different types of atmospheres and colors to create different moods. We already do so in our own homes, changing light moods from room to room, so we wanted to take that concept and make it work in larger open spaces.”

According to Philips research, winter days last more than the summer days in Uppsala. The residents spend months of winter in endless darkness. Children in Uppsala were unable to use outdoor playground equipment during the winter days, which constitute around more than 6 months. This means that children were getting less time for active or unstructured play activities. To get the city out of darkness in the immense winter days, the community decided to ‘light up the dark’.


Tegnérparken or ‘Giraffe Park’ is one of the major parks in Uppsala community. In winter, the park descends into immense darkness after 3 PM.Through the ‘light up the dark’ project, the community installed a dozen lights throughout the park to highlight the commercial playground equipment in the playground. With this improvement, the children now have more time to engage in active play activities that they were once unable to take part in during the winter season.

Royal Philips, the global leader in lighting, took a step towards improving the society with outdoor lightening systems that illuminate the playground equipment for children.

The figure below illustrates the results of increased lightening in Tegnérparken:


According to the results, more children go out in the playground during the winter season. Previously, the playground would be deserted after 4 PM, but with the installation of new lights, the playground remains illuminated all through the night.

Our Take on the Idea

Lightening the dark playgrounds is the best way to get kids to stay outdoors for longer. Commercial playground equipment and other playground structures for that matter are absolutely crucial for growing children. If we look at the past researches, we can easily find numerous sources that point out the fact how children enhance their well being by simply spending more time at the playgrounds. So I believe that projects like the one mentioned above should not be taken for granted. There are various playgrounds in America that support evening lightening, but outdoor play is not as common as it should be.

How do you contribute towards your child’s physical and cognitive development? Have you participated in any community project that would help increase children’s outdoor activities? Please share your opinion with us through our comment section below.

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