Humans have evolved and adapted to predictable fluctuations in natural light and darkness. Yet, technological developments over the past one and a half centuries have caused us to move away from this very important environmental signal. With the advent of electricity, we now spend the vast majority of our time within built environments, with constant access to artificial lighting, which differs considerably from the solar day and night. Recent research has revealed that the quality, quantity, and timing of light have a profound influence on our physiological health and well-being. While architectural lighting must already account for safety, energy efficiency and aesthetic quality, further consideration of these more newly discovered biological effects of light is absolutely necessary. This session will discuss how lighting technologies of the future have the potential to illuminate our environment in ways that support both our biological health and our modern lives.
- Learn about the biological effects of light and the associated underlying physiology.
- Understand the major factors that mediate the biological effects of light.
- Gain important and discerning considerations when following research on the biological effects of light.
- Glean insights into how to develop lighting solutions that better support human health and well-being.
University of California San Diego
Dr. Gena Glickman is part of the Center for Circadian Biology at University of California, San Diego, leading the Chronobiology and Light Research Lab. She specializes in the biological effects of light, with a specific focus on circadian rhythms, seasonal cycles and neuroendocrine response in mammals. Studies to date have examined the influence of different lighting characteristics (e.g. exposure parameters, prior photic history) on circadian resetting, melatonin suppression, and the efficacy of therapeutic applications. These basic research findings are now being applied in real-world settings, including the use of light to increase alertness, performance and health while mitigating sleep disturbances, mood disorders and certain hormone sensitive cancers.