Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Educational Opportunities
Light and Health Institute

The next Light and Health Institute will be held October 14-15, 2020 at the LRC in Troy, New York.

Light and Health InstituteSleep disorders are on the rise, with more than 70% of adults reporting that they obtain insufficient sleep at night. Light is the main factor impacting a person’s sleep-wake cycle, telling the body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. People in modern society spend more than 90% of their time indoors without enough light to stimulate the “circadian clock.” In the evening, the blue light from smartphones and computer screens makes the brain think it’s time to wake up, just as you're getting ready for bed, resulting in feeling tired and sluggish the next day. Learn how to use the power of light to improve health and wellbeing in schools, offices, hospitals, and homes at the LRC Light and Health Institute in Troy, New York.

Program objectives

Light and Health InstituteAt the conclusion of the Institute, participants will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information on the effects of light on human health
  • Select lighting fixtures and systems that can positively impact health and wellbeing
  • Evaluate the effects of a lighting design on health and wellbeing
  • Calculate the impact of light from any light sources and light levels on the human circadian system
  • Understand the effects of light on target populations such as older adults, adolescents, school children, shift workers, and others
  • Understand the limitations of current lighting metrics (e.g., CCT, lux) in specifying light for the circadian system

In addition, lighting manufacturers will learn how to develop lighting fixtures and systems that can be used to positively impact health.

Program agenda

Day One

Time Topic


  8:00 Arrival, registration, and continental breakfast  
  8:30 Introduction of presenters and participants D. Frering
  9:00 Lighting terminology – a review of important terms in the field of light and health D. Frering
  9:30 Background research on light and health including circadian entrainment, sleep, alertness, and other areas M. Figueiro
 10:15 Break  
 10:30 Background research on light and health (continued) M. Figueiro
 11:15 Circadian clock genes B. Possidente
 12:00 Lunch  
 12:45 Lighting characteristics for the human circadian system M. Rea
  2:00 Break  
  2:15 Measurement and analysis of light for the circadian system M. Rea,
A. Bierman
  3:15 Group laboratory exercise – measuring and quantifying circadian light (groups will measure and calculate circadian light in four settings) Various LRC staff
  4:45 Groups report on findings from the exercise Participants
  5:15 Adjourn  
  6:00 Dinner for participants and presenters  

Day Two

Time Topic


  8:15 Arrival and continental breakfast  
  8:45 The Daysimeter, a research tool for measuring personal circadian light exposures M. Rea,
A. Bierman
  9:15 Bridging research on light and health to applications – presenter will describe how to apply knowledge on light and health to applications such as senior living facilities, schools, light at night, shift work, mitigating jet lag, seasonal affective disorder, etc. M. Figueiro
 10:15 Break  
 10:45 Light and health applications (continued) M. Figueiro
 12:00 Lunch  
 12:45 The relationship between common lighting specificaitons (e.g., horizontal light-level requirements) and circadian effective light D. Frering
  1:15 Group design exercise – applying what has been learned to common design applications (e.g., senior living facilities, schools, hospitals, offices) Various LRC staff
  2:30 Groups report on design recommendations Participants
  3:00 Final questions and review D. Frering
  3:30 Adjourn  

About the instructors

Mariana Figueiro, PhD — Dr. Figueiro is among the world’s leading experts in the area of light and health, with a focus on bridging science to practical applications aimed at improving human quality of life. She has made a significant impact on this developing field and continues to actively expand her influence through translational research and teaching. She is principal investigator of various research projects within the LRC, including three R01 grants and a Training Program (T32) grant from the National Institute on Aging and an R01 grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She regularly collaborates with lighting designers and manufacturers, through her work with the LRC’s Light and Health Alliance. In 2017 Dr. Figueiro was named Director of the LRC, overseeing the entire 30,000-sq.-ft. research center and its faculty and staff.

Bernard P. Possidente, PhD — Dr. Possidente is a professor of biology at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He holds a PhD in biology from the University of Iowa. Dr. Possidente's general research area is genetic analysis of behavioral mechanisms. His research focuses on the function of biological clocks in controlling circadian rhythms using mice and fruitflies as model systems: manipulation of rhythms in mice and fruitflies with genetic, pharmacological, and photoperiod treatments in order to identify functional properties of circadian system components and their physiological mechanisms.

Mark S. Rea, PhD — Dr. Rea is a professor at the LRC and an expert in human vision, lighting engineering, human factors, photobiology, psychology, and light and health. He is the author of more than one-hundred scientific and technical articles related to vision, lighting engineering, and human factors and was the editor-in-chief of the 8th and 9th editions of the IESNA Lighting Handbook. His current research projects include the development of new metrics to improve the acceptance of energy-efficient lighting technologies, the study of the effects of light on circadian disruption, and research on reducing the market barriers to widespread use of energy-efficient lighting. Dr. Rea has conducted groundbreaking research in the areas of human visual performance, visual efficacy at nighttime light levels, and light and human health.

Continuing education credits

Participants will earn 13.25 AIA Health, Safety, Welfare Learning Units (LUs/HSW) for attending the Light and Health Institute and will receive a Continuing Education Certificate in light and health from the LRC.

The LRC has negotiated a special rate for hotel accommodations. For information on registration, travel, or CEUs call Dan Frering at 518-276-7148, or email


The Light and Health Institute is sponsored by the Light and Health Alliance.
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For more information on becoming a Light and Health Alliance member, please contact:

Dr. Mariana G. Figueiro, LRC Director


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