• 12.12.11

These Sunglasses Will Keep You Happy In Winter’s Dark Days

If you can’t be in the sun, you’ve got to make the sun come to you. But why mess with bulky sun lamps when the sun can shine on you all day–through your spectacles?

Even if you don’t have full-blown seasonal affective disorder, it’s hard not to be affected by winter’s ever-shortening days. It’s dark when you wake up, and it’s dark when you leave work. SAD effects 5% of the population, but more than 20% of people have some symptoms. That’s a lot of people who could use a little sunshine in their lives during these short days.


So a group of mechanical engineers from Denmark–where people know plenty about lack of sunlight–have devised a pair of sunglasses that don’t protect wearers from the sun; they act as a source of artificial sunlight.

The battery-powered, Lady Gaga-esque Seqinetic sunglasses come with six LED lights and a reflector that beams synthetic daylight around the eyes–but not straight into them. The inventors, who have been testing prototypes for some time, say that the sunglasses are comfortable, but that they can slightly reduce vision quality. You can go about your day while wearing them–just take them off if you plan on driving or operating any power tools.

Seqinetic isn’t in commercial production yet, but the product’s inventors have raised over $4,000 on Kickstarter. They still need cash to compensate for injection molding tools and printed circuit board production, which together will cost about $10,000.

The Seqinetic sunglasses go on sale January 1, but if you can’t wait that long, there are plenty of SAD-fighting artificial lights already on sale.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.