Lighting Industry, News

Can LEDs lower suicide rates?

The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Figures have doubled over the past decade, according to the World Health Organisation. 

The Mapo Bridge in Seoul is particularly tragic, with dozens of people jumping to their death each year.

Cheil Worldwide, a Korean marketing company, has created the ‘Bridge of Life’ in an attempt to tackle the issue. It is a sensor and LED-based system designed to discourage jumpers and offer messages of hope.

Over 18 months, 2,200 sensors and 2.2km of LEDs were installed on the bridge’s railings. The LEDs begin to flash as people approach the sides. Messages approved by suicide prevention groups, such as: ‘how have you been?’, ‘the best is yet to come’ and ‘just go and see the person you miss’, are displayed.

There is even an image section showing pictures of children, couples and grandparents. 

The company says that suicide rates on the bridge have been reduced by 77 per cent. 

The bridge, which was paid for by Samsung Life Insurance, recently won a Clio advertising award. Nearby Hangang Bridge is now being developed along the same lines. 

Watch a video about the making of the project: