Effects of ambient lighting displays on peripheral activity awareness

K. Davis, E.B. Owusu, L. Marcenaro, L. Feijs, C. Regazzoni, J. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)


The emergence of ubiquitous sensing and the Internet of Things (IoT) have inspired the development of “smart” everyday objects, which offer tremendous opportunities for maintaining the quality of life in ambient assisted living (AAL) environments. Inspired by the future possibilities of connected everyday devices, we envision a peripheral activity-based awareness system that captures human activity information and renders this information to enhance context awareness and support social connectedness between the elderly and their caregivers. Leveraging ambient intelligence and IoT technologies, ambient displays can convey activity information in the periphery of our attention. In particular, light has been used as a means to display ambient information and there is scientific evidence that it can enhance well-being, interconnectedness, and improve productivity. In this paper, we undertake two studies, first through an exploratory study we investigate the features of light suitable for conveying subtle activity information within the periphery of the users' attention for promoting context awareness. Also, we examine the preferences, perceptions, and interpretations of ambient lighting configurations of prospective caregiver's for conveying the activity information of older adults. In a second study, we assess the implications of activity awareness through lighting on cognitive performance, moods, and social connectedness. The set-up and design decisions of the second study were partly informed by previous research and by the outcomes of the first experiment. Together, these studies provide additional design guidelines for representing activity information with ambient lighting and highlight potential benefits and usage possibilities for lighting displays within the AAL domain. Furthermore, the results indicate a significant effect of activity awareness on cognitive performance. However, there were no significant effects of activity awareness through lighting on moods and social connectedness. Finally, we discuss the design guidelines and implications of these findings for designing activity-based ambient lighting displays for AAL environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7927391
Pages (from-to)9318-9335
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Ambient intelligence
  • ambient assisted living
  • ambient displays
  • ambient lighting
  • context awareness
  • perception
  • social connectedness


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