Lighting Research Center

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Light & Health

In the News

Below is a select list of news articles and other media coverage of LRC light & health research.
For more information, please contact Rebekah Mullaney, LRC communications manager.

A Greener, More Healthful Place to Work
New York Times - January 11, 2018
The LRC's Dr. Mariana Figueiro offers her expert views on the importance of good lighting and circadian entrainment in the workplace in this article published in the New York Times.

Human-centric lighting puts people first
LEDs Magazine - December 1, 2017
On November 30, LRC Director Dr. Mariana Figueiro presented a webcast with Ketra's Tom Hamilton, entitled, "Transforming Built Spaces with Healthy Lighting." In case you missed it, the webcast is now available on demand from LEDs Magazine.

Human-centric lighting takes hold in the commercial workplace
LEDs Magazine - October 17, 2017
LRC Director Dr. Mariana Figueiro explains the results of human-centric lighting studies at five General Services Administration office locations in the US. Participants receiving prescribed dosages of circadian-effective light exhibited improved sleep and reduced depression and stress.

Rethinking Exposure to Saturated Colored Light
Architectural Lighting - September 26, 2017
Mariana Figueiro, LRC Director, discusses the science behind exposure to saturated colored light, and explains how doses of red and blue light can be used to promote daytime alertness and improve nighttime sleep.

Passion for progress drives science into applications of solid-state lighting
LEDs Magazine - September 8, 2017
Carrie Meadows, associate editor of LEDs Magazine, attends the LRC's 2017 Partner-Alliance event and shares her observations on the research and programs highlighted by LRC scientists.

Lighting Focused on Occupant Health and Well-Being
FacilitiesNet - September 2017
More and more research is showing how so-called "human-centric" lighting can have positive effects on worker mood, productivity, and other positive benefits—in this article penned by the LRC's David Pedler and Dr. Mariana Figueiro.

Five Projects in Five Pages
LD+A - July 2017
This feature article profiles five recent and ongoing LRC projects that, through collaborations with the leading manufacturers and government agencies that comprise the LRC Partners and Alliances, are transforming the way we light the world.

Is Blue Light Bad For Your Health?
WebMD Health News - June 19, 2017
Mariana Figueiro, PhD, light and health program director at the Lighting Research Center in Troy, NY, stresses that in addition to minimizing bright blue-hued light—especially from gadgets held close to the eyes—at night, we should try to maximize the amount of bright light we get during the day. “It not only makes you more awake and alert by day; research suggests it may also make you less sensitive to the negative health consequences of light at night,” she says.

Daily Wisdom: Morning sun can get you on a better sleep schedule
Furthermore - June 14, 2017
Interview with Dr. Mariana Figueiro, Professor and Light and Health Program Director at the Lighting Research Center. "Seek light during the day from any source, electric or daylight, especially in the morning," she advises.

Why light is so important for seniors' health
The Sacramento Bee - June 5, 2017
New color-changing lights that match the body's circadian rhythms have helped residents of a local senior living community see more clearly and sleep more soundly.

Morning daylight exposure tied to a good night's sleep
Reuters - May 18, 2017
Workers who are exposed to sunlight or bright indoor lights during the morning hours sleep better at night and tend to feel less depressed and stressed than those who don't get much morning light, according to a recent study by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Beyond The Task Of Illumination
Facility Executive magazine - April 2017
Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors, yet little attention has been given to understanding how light affects health in the built environment. A team of researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is working to change that.

Promising Innovations for the Lighting Profession
Architectural Lighting - April 5, 2017
Experts reveal the technologies that are changing their day-to-day practices and the industry as a whole, featuring LRC scientists Mariana Figueiro and Mark Rea.

Scientists Say This Simple Little Office Hack Will Increase Your Productivity
Money - April 3, 2017
You've probably heard of circadian rhythms, the natural body cycles that help us to do things like fall asleep at nighttime and be active during the day. Now, a group of researchers are working to manipulate those rhythms to make us more productive at work.

To improve your productivity, paint your office this color
MarketWatch - April 1, 2017
Color — specifically, colored lighting — can affect productivity, according to an extensive body of research by Mariana Figueiro, a professor at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Rhythm of Light: Circadian Lighting Supports Health and Wellbeing in the Office Environment
Retrofit magazine - March/April 2017
In a project funded by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), LRC researchers are investigating how to effectively use electric lighting to ensure that every worker receives enough light during the day to support health and wellbeing in the office environment.

Quantifying Circadian Light and Its Impact
Architectural Lighting - February 2017
In the most recent issue of Architectural Lighting magazine, LRC scientists Mariana Figueiro and Mark Rea explain how to quantify circadian light and its impact. The article was also published online, and quickly rose to become one of the most popular and widely-shared on the magazine's website.

Light at night may disrupt sleep and health
USA TODAY - January 22, 2017
These are among the darkest days of the year — or they would be, if we lived like our ancestors, with nothing but the stars and moon to light our way between sunset and sunrise.

How to design circadian lighting – by top scientists
LUX Magazine - December 2016
US scientists have developed a special tool to help designers create lighting installations which affect the sleep-wake cycle.

Could Light Alleviate Alzheimer's Symptoms?
OZY - November 13, 2016
There may be hope for illuminating the minds of the almost 50 million people who suffer from dementia.

SIL Conference session to focus on the effects of lighting on health
LEDs Magazine - November 11, 2016
At the upcoming Strategies in Light conference (Feb. 28 - March 2, 2017; Anaheim, CA) the lead speaker in the Non-Visual Effects of Lighting session will be Dr. Mariana Figueiro, LRC Light and Health Program Director. In this essay, Dr. Figueiro highlights some of the topics she will discuss in her SIL conference presentation, including healthy lighting for adolescents, older adults, office workers, and night-shift workers.

Understanding Rotating Shift Workers' Health Risks
Occupational Health & Safety Magazine - November 2016
Until we know more, it is recommended that lighting in health care facilities should be designed to minimize acute melatonin suppression in night shift workers.

Using Electronic Devices Before Bed Tied to Lousy Sleep
Inside Science - November 9, 2016
Two new studies find that electronic device use near bedtime is linked with poor sleep in children and adults.

Phone use before bedtime is tied to poorer quality sleep
STAT News - November 9, 2016
People who spend more time staring at their phones before bedtime get a worse night’s sleep, researchers found, in the first study that directly measures screen time using a mobile application.

Blue LEDs Light Up Your Brain
Scientific American - November 2016
LRC Light & Health Program Director Mariana Figueiro is featured in this article in the November issue of Scientific American exploring why electronic screens keep you awake at night and what you can do about it.

Designing with Circadian Stimulus
LD+A - October 2016
The Lighting Research Center proposes a metric for applying circadian light in the built environment.

To improve health, cities are changing their streetlights
CNN - September 29, 2016
"It is very difficult to suppress melatonin," said Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Staring directly at a light source, like a computer screen, may cause the greatest effect on sleep cycles—but the effect is still weak. An indirect light source, like a street lamp outside the window, isn't likely to affect sleeping at all, Rea explained.

Some cities are taking another look at LED lighting after AMA warning
The Washington Post - September 25, 2016
“The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., said the lights pose less risk than the AMA suggests. The research center pointed out that the AMA report is based on extended exposure to high-intensity LEDs and said the blue-light hazard of LEDs ‘is probably not a concern to the majority of the population in most lighting applications.’”

As LED Streetlights Spread, Some Critics Look for Dimmer Switch
The Wall Street Journal - September 13, 2016
“John Bullough, director of transportation and safety lighting programs at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says the effect of outdoor LEDs on human health hasn’t been clearly established; in fact, he says, the use of computer screens at night might have a stronger effect on sleep disruption than outdoor streetlights.”

The science behind why office lighting feels like it can make or break your day
Quartz - Aug. 7, 2016
"It's a long putt from lighting to mood. There are a lot of things in between we don't fully understand," says Mark Rea.

Circadian Lighting Patterns Make Healthy Buildings
IMARK Now - Summer 2016
Science has shown the correlation between light exposure and the human circadian cycle, but what does it take to implement a circadian lighting solution in a built environment?

Lighting Research Center Drives Industry Research, Standards
IMARK Now - Summer 2016
"Lighting touches every human endeavor," Rea said. "Over the past 30 years, much of what we've accomplished, from improving lighting standards to educating the next generation of lighting practitioners, is rooted in collaborative research with very diverse stakeholders, each with their own unique perspective on lighting."

Lighting Research Center issues response to AMA report on LED lighting
LEDs Magazine - Jul. 1, 2016
The LRC's response to the AMA report on LED lighting attempts to draw attention to the problem of misapplying short-hand metrics to the topic of light and health.

How to Harness the Power of Light to Get Better Sleep
Van Winkle's - June 21, 2016
Until we evolve beyond a light-regulated circadian sleep/wake rhythm, we need to accept the relationship between light and sleep — and understand what we can do to help it along. [This article was also published in Lifehacker.]

Why Your Sleep App Won't Solve Your Sleep Problems
Fast Company - June 2016
LRC Light & Health Program Director Mariana Figueiro is featured in this Fast Company article on sleep tracking apps.

Five Projects in Five Pages
LD+A - May 2016
This feature article profiles five lighting projects presented at the LRC Partner-Alliance Event last October. Projects include the Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, Breathing Lights, Lighting Patterns for Healthy Buildings, Cypress Cove memory care facility, and LED airfield lighting.

Do Apps Aimed at Making Gadgets Less Disruptive to Sleep Work?
The Wall Street Journal - April 4, 2016
As more people head to bed with smartphones or tablets, there's increasing focus on the 'blue light' the devices emit. [Interview with Mariana Figueiro]

Apple's New Night Mode Doesn't Mean You Should Take Your Tablet To Bed
FiveThirtyEight - March 30, 2016
Must read article by Katherine Hobson in Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight offers a closer look at the science of why screen time can disturb your sleep. [Interview with Mariana Figueiro]

Can Apple's new Night Shift setting help you sleep?
CNN Money - March 25, 2016
"The idea is good, but it is not just about color. The intensity matters too, so color needs to be shifted and intensity needs to be dropped," said Mariana Figueiro in this CNN article, which was picked up by more than 100 news outlets across the U.S.

The new Night Shift feature probably won't help you sleep better
Macworld - March 25, 2016
Mariana Figueiro's group is "working on an app that would gather information about your light exposure across a day and recommend the best times to get the right light. With remote-controlled, color-variable bulbs from Hue and others, she suggests a future in which this app could change overall lighting to fit your needs...".

Apple's blue light special can help sleep, but not a panacea
San Francisco Chronicle - March 24, 2016
LRC's Mariana Figueiro speaks with the San Francisco Chronicle about the effect of light on sleep. Article later reprinted in the Houston Chronicle.

Using light to improve sleep, reduce agitation
McKnight's Long-Term Care News - March 15, 2016
Must read article on healthy lighting in long-term care facilities, featuring the research of LRC Light & Health Program Director Mariana Figueiro.

South Bend facility sheds light on potential dementia breakthrough
WNDU News Channel 16 - Feb. 17, 2016
LRC Light & Health researchers are conducting studies at hospitals and long-term care facilities across the U.S. to measure whether intense light therapy affects wellbeing of older adults with Alzheimer's. One of the facilities was featured in this inspiring local news story.

Enlightened minds
APA Monitor on Psychology - January 2016
A growing field of research suggests that surrounding ourselves with the right dose of electric light can boost mood and cognitive function, especially for those most susceptible to sleep disorders.

Finding Your Passion in Lighting
LD+A - January 2016
LRC senior research specialist and recent Rensselaer graduate Kassandra Gonzales discusses her career path in the emerging field of light and health.

One-on-One with Mark Rea
Architectural Lighting - Dec. 16, 2015
Elizabeth Donoff, Editor-in-Chief, Architectural Lighting magazine, interviews LRC Director Mark Rea.

Circadian Lighting [video]
National Lighting Bureau - Nov. 29, 2015
Panel discussion featuring LRC Professor Mariana Figueiro, Kevin Kampschroer of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Mary Beth Gotti of GE Lighting.

The Value Proposition: Going Beyond What's Recommended
LD+A - November 2015
LRC Director Mark Rea discusses 'benefit metrics' in this final installation of the LD+A series, "The Value Proposition."

Why Students Need More Light For Better Sleep
The Huffington Post - Oct. 23, 2015
Panel discussion on the critical link between light, sleep and student performance, featuring LRC Director Mark Rea.

Improved lighting helps people suffering Alzheimer's disease
WNYT News Channel 13 - Sept. 29, 2015
Benita Zahn visits the Lighting Research Center to speak with Mariana Figueiro about a new study utilizing tailored lighting to benefit individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

High-Tech Lights to Help Baby Sleep, or Students Stay Alert
The New York Times - Sept. 12, 2015
Mariana Figueiro is quoted in this excellent article by Diane Cardwell of The New York Times. “Lighting is really not about a fixture in the ceiling anymore,” said Figueiro. “It’s about delivering individualized light treatments to people.”

To sleep, perchance.
The Economist - May 16, 2015
Screens before bedtime harm sleep. The effect is biggest for teenagers.

Babbage: LEDtime
The Economist - May 11, 2015
Mariana Figueiro's latest study on sleep and light from self-luminous devices is featured in this audio piece that was on the homepage of

TEDMED: Mariana Figueiro - May 5, 2015
How can we harness the power of light to improve health? Mariana Figueiro, Light & Health Program Director at the Lighting Research Center, explains in her TEDMED talk. Watch the video. For more information, also see Dr. Figueiro's TEDMED guest blog post.

Light Therapy for Better Sleep
Sleep Review - May 4, 2015
The benefits of lighting that helps us sleep, improves our mood, reduces depression, or makes us feel more alert on the job are, simply put, priceless.

Finally: Sunlight in the Office Cubicle
The Wall Street Journal - March 2, 2015
James Hagerty interviews Russ Leslie for this article on daylighting in office buildings.

8 ways to use your gadgets at night and still get a good night's sleep
Fast Company - February 26, 2015
Michael Grothaus interviews Mariana Figueiro for this article on iPads and sleep.

How Smartphones Hurt Sleep
The Atlantic - February 24, 2015
Blue light makes the brain think it's time to wake up, just as you're getting ready for bed.

Let there be light: Helping people through dark days
BBC News - February 14, 2015
The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is developing a system that could transform people's homes and lives by regulating the amount of light to which they are exposed. At its heart is a device known as a Daysimeter, which was developed by a team led by Professors Mark Rea and Mariana Figueiro.

Screen time can mess with the body's 'clock'
Science News for Students - February 9, 2015
For a good night's sleep, here is some expert advice: Turn off, turn in and drop off. Anyone who does the opposite—say, turning on an iPad or other similar electronic reader in bed—may have a harder time both dropping off to sleep and shaking that groggy feeling the next morning.

Electric Lighting Will Improve Our Quality of Life in the Future
NEMA ei - February 2015
LRC Director Mark Rea discusses how a 24-hour lighting scheme could improve health and productivity.

Swedish school hopes bright classroom lights boost student performance
Lux Review - January 27, 2015
A school in the far north of Sweden may have found a way to boost students' performance in the dead of winter: Stimulate them with bright, intense classroom lighting. That makes sense to Dr. Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center, who points out that a brightly lit room can act like a dose of caffeine...

Swedish school sheds light on dark days of winter
The Guardian - January 24, 2015
David Crouch interviews Mariana Figueiro for The Guardian (UK) on light & health and a school in Sweden’s far north that has recently installed special lighting to improve mood, raise performance, and help students through a long, dark winter.

Screen time wrong prelude to bedtime, study says
The Boston Globe - December 22, 2014
Mariana Figueiro speaks with Carolyn Johnson about a new study which confirms her 2012 study results that show backlit tablets can suppress melatonin, delaying sleep.

Wearable sensors to help you get just the right amount of light
Radio Sweden - November 20, 2014
Dr. Thorbjörn Laike speaks with Radio Sweden about light & health research with LRC and the Daysimeter.

Driven: In search of one of the most brilliant minds in lighting
Total Lighting (TL) magazine - November 2014
Mariana Figueiro is featured in this Q+A with TL magazine editor Gillian Anderson.

Five ways to use light to improve health and sleep
BBC Mundo - November 6, 2014
Alejandra Martins interviews Mariana Figueiro for BBC Mundo (BBC Latin America).

Time to Switch Off?
BBC Focus - November 2014
You probably spend more time staring at a screen than you think. But is it bad for you? BBC's Holly Cave interviews light & health expert Mariana Figueiro.

Shining a light on wellbeing
Lighting Newswire - October 2014
Mariana Figueiro's Light & Health research is featured in this article by Claire Thompson. Part 2 of a two-part series exploring light's effect on human health.

Lighting Affects Dementia Patients’ Sleep
Today’s Geriatric Medicine - September/October 2014
In-depth article on Mariana Figueiro's recent study, "Tailored lighting intervention improves measures of sleep, depression, and agitation in persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia living in long-term care facilities."

Mariana Figueiro to speak at TEDMED 2014
LRC Light & Health Program Director Mariana Figueiro will speak at TEDMED, September 12, 2014 at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Blue light from electronics disturbs sleep, especially for teenagers
The Washington Post - September 1, 2014
The pervasive glow of electronic devices may be an impediment to a good night’s sleep. That’s particularly noticeable now, when families are adjusting to early wake-up times for school...

Out of the shadows: the impacts of light on human health
Lighting Newswire - September 2014
Mariana Figueiro's Light & Health research is featured in this article by Claire Thompson. Part 1 of a two-part series exploring light's effect on human health.

The Light Therapeutic
The Economist: Intelligent Life magazine - May/June 2014
Dr. Mariana Figueiro's Light & Health research is profiled in the May/June issue cover story by Rosie Blau, also available online.

Night Shift Making You Sick? Red Light Could Help
NYC Public Radio - May 27, 2014
News producer Paige Cowett of NYC Public Radio (WNYC) visited the Lighting Research Center to find out how red light could benefit shift workers...

Lighting Research Center's Light and Health Institute
Philips Lighting blog - May 5, 2014
Tomorrow, May 6, a group of 30 lighting and healthcare industry professionals will travel to the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. to attend the launch of the first "flagship" Light and Health Institute...

The Value Proposition: Where Are the Products?
LD+A - May 2014
Column by Dr. Mariana Figueiro on new metrics to increase the value of lighting.
"The non-visual benefits of light on human health are real and multifaceted, but remain largely unrealized because there are few lighting products designed to deliver those benefits."

Glowing Screens: The Cause Of, And Potential Solution To, Your Sleep Problems
WGBH Boston Public Radio - April 14, 2014
Cristina Quinn speaks with Mariana Figueiro about the effect of light from self-luminous displays on sleep.

The Health Costs of our Late-Night Light Addiction
Nautilus - March 31, 2014
LRC Director Mark Rea and science writer Eli Chen discuss the benefits of regular light/dark patterns to promote human health.

Light tests at RPI to help the early birds sleep
Times Union - March 26, 2014
A flashing mask that looks like it belongs at a techno-rave party might hold the key
to a better night's sleep for elderly people.

Take Light, Not Drugs
Nautilus - March 20, 2014
How light therapy can treat disorders from depression to Alzheimer's disease.

LRC Takes Health Initiative
LD+A - March 2014
The Lighting Research Center is no stranger to the health and wellness movement.

'Bluish' Light May Help Alzheimer's Patients Find Bearings
NPR All Things Considered - February 19, 2014
Robert Siegel speaks with Mariana Figueiro about utilizing light to improve human health and wellbeing.

Light for Better Sleep
Residential Lighting - November 2013
Mariana Figueiro Q+A: Lighting Research Center study on lighting systems for Alzheimer's patients could help an aging population.

Lemurs’ neck bling tracks siestas, insomnia
Duke Research Blog - November 5, 2013
The fancy neck charm this lemur is wearing is no fashion accessory. Weighing in at just under an ounce, it’s a battery-powered data logger that measures light exposure and activity levels continuously over many days.

Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center: Far, Far More Than Meets The Eye
Forbes - September 2013
There’s an old joke that goes: How many PhDs does it take to turn on a lightbulb?
The punchline: Four—one to do it and three to co-author the paper. That may not be fair, or true. But it is the case that it takes a number of highly intelligent people to undertake the necessary work at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer.

Is Your Cell Phone Making You Fat?
Harper's BAZAAR - July 15, 2013
Late-night screen time may be leaving us sleepless and saddlebagged.

Arianna Huffington Implores You: Stop Taking Bright Devices Into the Bedroom
The Atlantic - June 27, 2013
Speaking as earnestly as an iPad is backlit, Arianna Huffington implored attendees at the Aspen Ideas Festival Wednesday to ban their tablets and smart phones from their bedrooms, for the sake of their health.

The Secret to An Afternoon Energy Boost: Red Lighting
The Wall Street Journal - May 2013
Many people experience a period of reduced alertness in the afternoon, what researchers call the post-lunch dip. Exposing people to red lighting may improve their energy during this period, according to a study in Physiology & Behavior.

Eftekhar and Rea Discuss New Metrics
LD+A Magazine - March 2013
Zia Eftekhar, the retired chairman of Philips Lighting, recently sat down with Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at RPI, to discuss the potential for a new measurement system in lighting that would emphasize non-visual, qualitative issues (e.g., worker productivity, student learning, sleep), rather than the traditional quantitative benchmarks that focus on energy use.

Short-Wavelength Light Can Help Teenagers
LD+A Magazine - March 2013
Sleep-starved teens may be able to rest easier, according to new research from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Reading Your Tablet Computer At Night Could Be Disrupting Your Sleep
Gizmodo - Feb 5, 2013
As we move from paper books to e-books, the practice of reading before bed may have to change. A new study suggests that looking at the bright light of a tablet screen may be interfering with the natural production of hormones that aid in falling asleep.

A 24-Hour Lighting Scheme for Older Adults
LD+A - February 2013
Since light impacts more than just our vision, it is important that lighting schemes implemented in senior residences also account for the needs of our non-visual systems.

Using iPad for Two Hours Before Bedtime Harms Your SLEEP, New Study Reveals
Daily Mail UK - Feb 2, 2013
People who favor watching movies or surfing the web on their tablet or laptop before bedtime could be setting themselves up for serious sleep problems, according to a new research.

Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime
Scientific American - Feb 1, 2013
Using a tablet or computer in the late evening disrupts the body's melatonin production.

Coping With Stress: 10 Ways To Make Your Online Time More Relaxing
Huffington Post - Dec 10, 2012
Full disclosure: We love the interwebs here at HuffPost Teen. Between the amazingly creative work you are sharing on Tumblr, the social media empires you've built, and the way you've made your voices heard on platforms like ours (and beyond), we're inspired every day by your rich online lives.

The 'Outside' RX: Find Your Rhythm
Outside Online - Nov 28, 2012
Six natural prescriptions for improving your body and mind

The iPhone User's Sleep Remedy
Men's Journal - Nov 26, 2012
Turn your gadgets off at night to sleep better. Your computer, tablet, and smartphone may be sabotaging your sleep, according to a recent study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Working From Bed: 8 In 10 Young Professionals Sacrifice Sleep For Work Emails, Research Shows
Huffington Post - Nov 16, 2012
In 1957, legendary writer Truman Capote described himself as a "horizontal author," claiming that he couldn't think unless he was "lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch."

Study shows blue light could help adolescents combat stress
LEDs Magazine - Oct 26, 2012
In a new study from the Lighting Research Center, it was found that short-wavelength light can enhance the cortisol awakening response, which is important for dealing with stress throughout the day, in sleep-restricted adolescents. The study also concluded that reduced evening light exposure may influence the cortisol awakening response.

Mariana Figueiro
Architectural Lighting - Oct 24, 2012
Had it not been for a design research seminar while a graduate student at the Lighting Research Center (LRC), part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., Mariana Figueiro might never have pursued a career in lighting education and research.

Early-Morning Screen Time Could Help Kids Wake Up
NBC News - Oct 23, 2012
Even with the shift to standard time this Sunday, the days will continue shortening, making it even tougher to get up. Less light signals the body it's still night. But early morning exposure to an iPad, computer or other backlit device could help ease the seasonal transition, according to a study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Blue light exposure boosts stress hormone response in sleep-deprived teens
BioOptics World - Oct 22, 2012
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Atlanta, GA), almost 70 percent of adolescents get less than 8 hours of sleep on school nights, which has been linked with depression, behavior problems, poor performance at school, drug use, and automobile accidents.

Screen Time Before Bed May Be Keeping You Awake
Mashable - Oct 10, 2012
We've told you about recent studies that show tablet and smartphone use before bed can keep you awake at night. Researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found two or more hours of exposure to backlit devices suppresses melatonin by as much as 22%.

Teens Who Use Mobiles After 'Lights Out' May Struggle With Sleep, Depression
NY Daily News - Oct 1, 2012
Additionally, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center found that looking at the backlit screen of certain electronic devices can suppress melatonin, a hormone produced during sleep, and cause sleeplessness.

Don't Let Your E-Reader Keep You Up At Night
Fox News - Sept 26, 2012
Having trouble getting to sleep? It could be your iPad, your Kindle or any other screen you use for reading before turning the lights out. New research explains why this happens, but what can you do about it — short of giving up your device?

LRC Develops Daylighting Dashboard for Architects
LEDs Magazine - Sept 19, 2012
Researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have proposed a new metric to help architects and builders more easily take advantage of the benefits of daylighting, from significant energy savings to the positive impact of light on health, when designing the built environment.

A Screen Display's Mixed Signals
Times Union - Sept 13, 2012
Keeping company with an iPad far into the evening may keep you amused, but it may also rob you of some sleep later in the night.

Really? Using a Computer Before Bed Can Disrupt Sleep?
The New York Times - Sept 10, 2012
In today's gadget-obsessed world, sleep experts often say that for a better night's rest, Americans should click the "off" buttons on their smartphones and tablets before tucking in for the night.

Using iPads Before Bed 'Can Lead to a Poor Night's Sleep'
The Telegraph - Sept 10, 2012
Using tablet computers like Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Note just before bed can lead to a poor night's sleep, according to research.

Tablet Light May Affect Sleep By Suppressing Melatonin
Huffington Post - Sept 5, 2012
Your new tablet may be convenient for reading on the go, but it may not be so good for your sleep.

Your iPad May Be Keeping You Awake At Night
NY Daily News - Sept 5, 2012
"Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent," said lead researcher Mariana Figueiro in a statement last week.

Lighting Up the Aviation Industry
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2012
Using the right light for the right time of day can enhance a person's comfort level and alertness. Use the wrong lighting, however, and a passenger's favorable flying experience could fly out the window.

Can't Sleep? It Could Be Your iPad
WebMD - Aug 31, 2012
Is setting down your iPad the last thing you do before bed? New research shows that all of those nighttime hours spent with your tablet can wreak havoc on your sleep.

Trouble Sleeping? Your Tablet or Smartphone Could Be to Blame
Mashable - Aug 29, 2012
Are you having more trouble sleeping since you got your iPad or Samsung Galaxy S II? That comes as no surprise to researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who've found that two or more hours of exposure to backlit devices suppresses melatonin.

Want a Good Night's Sleep? Read a Book.
Los Angeles Times - Aug 28, 2012
There are many ways to slide into a good night's sleep -- here, we're concerned with just one of them: reading. And if you take to bed with a good book on your tablet, you're doing it wrong.

Top Ten Innovations 2011
The Scientist - January 2012
#8 The Circadian Watch: The Dimesimeter isn't the latest fashion statement, but it may offer researchers insights into how disrupting circadian rhythms affects human physiology, behavior, and disease. The Scientist staff offers their list of the best and brightest products that 2011 had to offer the life scientist.

Textbook Includes LRC Field Study Results on Impact of Light on Teens' Sleeping Habits
LRC Press Release - July 2011
Research led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Associate Professor Mariana Figueiro on the impact of light on teenagers' sleeping habits was selected for publication in Best of Sleep Medicine 2011. The textbook is designed to keep sleep clinicians, researchers, and technologists informed of the latest science and technology advances in the growing field of sleep medicine.

Teens Need More Morning Light, Study Shows
Voice of America - March 2010
A number of studies show that teenagers do not get enough sleep. As a result, their schoolwork suffers and so does their health. A new study shows that parents can help teens get more sleep by regulating their exposure to light. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

Wireless Device Helps Illuminate the Role of Light on Human Health
Scientific American - July 2008
Researchers are testing a small, ear-mounted meter to help gauge exposure to light. In an effort to gauge exactly how light affects our body clocks, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center has developed a device called a Daysimeter.



View a list of publications, journal articles, and conference papers on light and health issues by Lighting Research Center scientists.








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