Studying Lighting Impact on Health at LRC

Rebekah Mullaney from Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute introduces the center’s research projects in this Philips Lumec blog entry.

On May 6, a group of 30 lighting and healthcare industry professionals will travel to the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. to attend the launch of the first “flagship” Light and Health Institute a two-day, hands-on seminar to teach the many ways in which light affects, and can be used to improve, health and wellbeing. The seminar is taught by Dr. Mariana Figueiro, LRC Light and Health Program director and professor at Rensselaer; Dr. Bernard Possidente, professor of biology at Skidmore College; Dr. Mark Rea, LRC director and professor at Rensselaer; and Andrew Bierman, LRC research scientist.

Light and health research projects at LRC. (LEDinside/Philips Lumec)

Light of the appropriate quantity, spectrum, timing, duration, and distribution can have a profound effect on sleep, alertness, and performance, along with overall wellbeing, and can be used to improve conditions such as jet lag, Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia, and depression. The goal of LRC’s Light and Health Institute is to provide attendees with the latest research as it can be applied, and the knowledge necessary to improve our modern living environments with efficient, dynamic lighting.

One of the highlights of the seminar is the Daysimeter demo. The Daysimeter is a personal light measurement device developed by LRC to measure circadian entrainment. Researchers at LRC and select other university research teams have used Daysimeter technology in a variety of studies with populations ranging from teachers, students, office workers, nurses (day shift and rotating shift), and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, to lemurs and cows. Several weeks ago, LRC mailed one Daysimeter to each seminar participant. During the seminar, LRC researchers will analyze the light exposure data collected and participants will receive a report detailing their own individual circadian entrainment or disruption. Attendees will explore hands-on demos set up throughout LRC’s lighting laboratories, from an office workspace with healthy lighting, to demos using backlit tablets, along with LRC-developed blue light goggles and sleep masks. The complete seminar agenda is listed here

Light and health research projects at LRC. (LEDinside/Philips Lumec)

The May 6-7, 2014 seminar is full and “sold out” several weeks ago, but LRC plans to offer this seminar regularly in the future. LRC also offers several other professional training seminars for engineers, architects, specifiers, and other lighting industry professionals, including the LED Lighting Institute, Outdoor Lighting Institute, and Photometry Institute.

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