The LRC Summit, put on by the Lighting Research Center in Troy, NY, October 15-17, hosted a group of industry, academia and government leaders with the goal of inspiring discussion around the future of lighting. The summit featured a number of distinguished keynote speakers who presented on topics falling under the pillars of Lighting for Healthcare & Humanity, Agricultural Lighting, and Lighting & the Grid.
Dr. Robert White, director of the Regional Newborn Program at Beacon Children’s Hospital and chair of the Standards Committee for NICU Design, discussed the impact of the physical environment on the well-being of patients, families and caregivers. One major takeaway from his talk was the importance of multidisciplinary leadership in developing standards for NICU design.
Dr. Mariana Figueiro, LRC Director, presented select light and health research studies conducted by her team at the LRC, including some showing how light can reduce depression and fatigue in cancer patients and support alertness in night-shift nurses.
Dr. Roger Beachy, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology at Washington University, discussed global challenges in agriculture and food systems. “Climate change is arguably the most significant existential threat that humankind has faced,” said Beachy. “How we adjust the future of agriculture today and in the next one to two decades will determine the well-being of humankind into the future.”
His talk was followed by updates on LRC agriculture and horticulture research studies by Dr. Ziggy Majumdar, director of development at the LRC. Agricultural lighting was identified by summit participants as an important area of research that could have significant benefits for humanity, especially in regard to reducing pesticide usage by supplementing pesticides with UV light to destroy pathogens and pests.
The final keynote was delivered by Janet Joseph, senior vice president for strategy and market development at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. She discussed New York’s nation-leading climate agenda and Green New Deal in her keynote titled, “New York’s Climate and Clean Energy Agenda: Building the Grid of the Future.”