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Educational Opportunities
Educational Opportunities
Light and Health Institute

Dates for the next Light and Health Institute will be announced soon.

Light and Health InstituteThe Light and Health Institute is a two-day, hands-on seminar for working professionals, providing the latest research as it can be applied, and the knowledge necessary to improve our modern living environments with circadian-effective lighting to support human health and wellbeing. Light of the appropriate quantity, spectrum, timing, duration, and distribution can have a profound effect on sleep, alertness, and performance, and can be used to reduce symptoms associated with conditions such as jet lag, Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia, and depression.

This seminar is of critical interest to those within the field of healthcare, lighting industry professionals, researchers in the biological sciences, facility managers, architects, designers, and others.

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
  • Lighting specifiers will be able to review and select lighting fixtures and systems that can positively influence health and wellbeing
  • Lighting manufacturers will be able to develop lighting fixtures and systems that can be used to positively influence health and wellbeing
  • Lighting designers will be able to evaluate the effects of a lighting design on health and wellbeing
  • Participants will be able to calculate the impact of light from any light sources and light levels on the human circadian system
  • Participants will understand the effects of light on target populations such as older adults, adolescents, school children, shift workers, and others
  • Participants will understand the limitations of current lighting metrics (e.g., CCT, lux) in specifying light for the circadian system

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 Review of Daysimeter results from participants presenters will review the results of the analysis of participants' Daysimeter data from two weeks prior to the Institute 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

Andrew Bierman, MS, LC — Professor Bierman is a senior research scientist at the LRC and an expert in photometry and radiometry. He is currently conducting research on the non-visual effects of light on health and circadian regulation. Other areas of research include mesopic vision (vision at low light levels), color vision, lighting controls, measurement of lighting efficiency, photosensor technology, and fluorescent lighting systems. Professor Bierman is one of our country's leading experts in photometric measurement and is the head of the LRC’s photometric laboratories.

Mariana Figueiro, PhD — Dr. Figueiro is the director and a professor at the LRC. Her research areas include energy-efficient lighting, human factors in lighting, and working to better understand and quantify light as a stimulus for the circadian system. An architect by training, Dr. Figueiro received her Ph.D. in multidisciplinary science and her M.S. in lighting degrees from Rensselaer. She received the 2006 James D. Watson Award and the 2007 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award to continue her work in circadian photobiology. In addition to managing the LRC's Light and Health program, she serves as advisor and thesis committee member for graduate students and teaches Light and Health and Human Factors in Lighting.

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.


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