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Troy, N.Y. -  5/1/2019

LRC's Mariana Figueiro and Rohan Nagare to Receive Leon Gaster Award

Director Mariana Figueiro and doctoral candidate Rohan Nagare of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, along with co-author Luke Price of Public Health England, have been selected to receive the prestigious Leon Gaster Award from the Society of Light and Lighting for the paper, “Non-visual effects of light: How to use light to promote circadian entrainment and elicit alertness,” published in the journal Lighting Research & Technology last year. The award will be presented at the Society’s Annual General Meeting on May 23 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK.
The award-winning paper summarizes the literature on how light affects circadian entrainment and alertness and how it can be used to achieve these aims. The authors begin with a discussion of the circadian system, the lighting characteristics that affect its outputs, and the analytical metrics that have been proposed to characterize those outputs. Measurement devices and techniques for accurately quantifying the circadian system’s outputs in the field are described, followed by a discussion of how they have been applied in practical, real-life settings. The authors also provide a summary of recent applied and field research among various populations such as older adults, adolescents and daytime office workers. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible research directions for the next 50 years.
The authors write that researchers have focused on the “spectral sensitivity of the human circadian system, but this aspect is not the whole story.” They note, “indeed, the variables of timing and duration have not always been considered in lighting, and yet, they are key elements in specifying lighting for the circadian system … it is the temporal relationship between the total circadian light–dark and activity–rest patterns that needs to be measured and controlled to reduce circadian disruption.”
Earlier this year, Rohan Nagare was also selected to receive the Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award. Nagare, who is originally from Mumbai, India, is pursuing his PhD in lighting at the LRC.
The full paper is available with free, open access, courtesy of the journal Lighting Research & Technology at
The National Institute on Aging (R01AG034157), National Institute of Occupational, Safety and Health (NIOSH – R01OH01668), U.S. General Services Administration and the Office of Naval Research provided funding for the award-winning research.
The Leon Gaster Award

The Leon Gaster Award is presented annually by the Society of Light and Lighting for the best paper of the year, concerned with lighting applications, and recognizes the role that Leon Gaster made as one of the founders of the Illuminating Engineering Society in the UK. The award was first made in 1929. 

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.