Positive thinking is an important part of a patient's recovery, but it's hard to muster in a place with drab fluorescent lighting. So Philips is hoping to improve the mood of hospital rooms with their color changing HealWell lighting system.

In recent years Philips has been really gung-ho on the idea of chromatherapy improving our lives with their Ambilight TV system and color changing lamps. But their new HealWell lighting system—designed for hospital recovery rooms—is a more practical application of that technology.

The system uses an overhead fake sunlight combined with accent lighting and a bedside reading lamp that can all be controlled by the patient to create a mood that makes them most comfortable. The lights can also run autonomously, cycling through colors that best match the time of day and look of real sunshine. The HealWell system recently completed a nine month field test in the Netherlands, where it was found that patients slept longer and fell asleep quicker, which helps reduce recovery times.

Having successfully completed the testing, the Philips HealWell lighting system will be officially released at the end of January. So if you were planning to spend some time in the hospital in the near future, you might want to hold off for a while. [Philips via designboom]