About the Light and Health program
The Light and Health program at the LRC bridges the gap between science and applications by striving to better understand how the visual and circadian systems work and what lighting characteristics affect them. The Light and Health program aims to develop the means of applying and measuring light that is effective to both visual and circadian systems.
Biological rhythms that repeat approximately every 24 hours are called circadian rhythms. Light is the main stimulus that helps the circadian clock, and thus circadian rhythms, keep a synchronized rhythm with the solar day. Humans need to be exposed to a sufficient amount of light of the right spectrum, for a sufficient amount of time, and at the right time, for our biological clocks to remain synchronized with the solar day. Otherwise, we may experience decrements in physiological functions, neurobehavioral performance, and sleep.
Lighting characteristics that are effective to the circadian system are different than those effective to the visual system. In order to apply light to mitigate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, and sleep deprivation, we need a better understanding of the quantity, spectrum, timing, duration, and distribution of light that is effective for the circadian system.
Light and Health Education
We offer a number of courses and seminars to practicing professionals and others interested in improving their knowledge of lighting, including the Life Sciences in Lighting Institute.
Life Sciences in Lighting Internship - An eight-week paid summer internship program for undergraduate students in degree programs within the life sciences who are interested in learning more about the impacts of light on human life. This could potentially lead to fully-funded graduate study in this area. Advance your science skills with this unique opportunity.
The Lighting Research Center administers the lighting graduate degree programs within the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The LRC has been offering the premier graduate degree in the field of lighting since 1990. Building on this strong foundation, the options for advanced study at the LRC have recently been expanded to include a wider range of degree options for those wishing to pursue graduate education in the field of lighting. Graduate degree options include two Masters options and one PhD option.More information on Graduate Education at the LRC
Current Graduate Students:
- Ken Appleman
- Leora Radetsky
- Levent Sahin
- Anna Lok
- Alicia Miksic
- Anna Murphy
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