Sunlight boosts your body’s serotonin levels, which is why sunshine is generally accepted as making people feel happier.
Unless you’re reading this in the southern hemisphere, you’d be forgiven for feeling that sunshine is in short supply, especially during a typical British winter, or even during summer for that matter. A prolonged lack of natural light can trigger the symptoms of depression. Up to 24% of the UK population experience the winter blues and of those, around 7% have particularly severe symptoms, known collectively as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The lightbulb moment
Cambridge-based Lumie has been one of the champions of using artificial light to combat SAD since 1991. “Our founder Steve Hayes identified a need for light therapy products in the UK,” says Jonathan Cridland, current CEO of Lumie. “He developed a light box to increase the body’s natural production of mood and energy boosting hormones, such as serotonin.” Lumie later went onto invent integrated dawn simulators, also known as wake-up lights.
Dawn simulation is a method of resetting the body clock to adapt to a new sleep/wake cycle by simulating the rising and setting sun. This can benefit people, who struggle to wake in the morning, shift workers, travellers suffering from jet lag and SAD patients. The Lumie Bodyclock range features a simulated sunrise and sunset to help people wake-up and fall asleep in the best way possible.
Based on rigorous research and innovative design, and classified as medical devices, the company’s diverse product range has seen turnover grow by 50% in just four years. Lumie is Europe’s leading light therapy specialist, with customers throughout Europe, North America and Australia. “The interest we’ve had from Europe, especially further north where winters are long and dark, has been phenomenal,” says Cridland.
Many hands make light work
As a product used to treat medical conditions, customers are keen to receive their Lumie as soon as possible so they can begin to enjoy the benefits, creating further impetus for fast, efficient delivery. Following such rapid growth and international expansion, the challenge is maintaining the highest levels of customer service – even when transporting to the other side of the world.
“We’ve worked with FedEx for 10 years and they ensure our shipments arrive on time and in perfect condition”, says Eileen Somerville, warehouse manager at Lumie. “The couriers take the utmost care when delivering fragile items, making sure the bulbs are kept upright and secure in transit.”
Lumie uses FedEx order management system, available via an add-on to the standard FedEx Ship Manager Software, to process orders and streamline administrative functions, such as shipping label generation. “This certainly brings structure to our process management procedure and for any unusual orders, the FedEx IT support team is always on hand,” explains Somerville.
Local FedEx UK depots also adapt to Lumie’s increase in daily collections during the autumn/winter peak period. “FedEx recognised that we experience an influx in orders during certain seasons,” adds Somerville. “It factored this in to our shipment needs and adapted, effectively providing us with seasonal shipping slots.”
The future smells bright
Research and innovation has always been central to the Lumie success story. With its new product Lumie Bodyclock Iris – that combines a wake-up light with aromatherapy – the company has big plans to continue this trend on an international stage.
“As we continue to grow and expand into new markets, we’re going to need a logistics provider who can deliver to the same high standard of customer service,” adds Cridland. “The global-yet-local expertise FedEx has is a big bonus in this area, and we expect FedEx to be a part of our growth for years to come.”