Light and Health: What’s New in Research

The January issue of LD+A included a collection of research projects from around the globe that aim to show how lighting can impact health—for better or worse:

  1. University of Toronto and Northwestern University: Researchers found that bright lights are associated with more extreme, visceral emotions, both good and bad, and can enhance the perception of attractiveness.
  2. Oxford University: The Photon Project studies how light affects people biologically and will pursue the creation of Photon Living solutions for buildings.
  3. California Lighting Technology Center, UC Davis: In the Honda Smart Home, LED lighting aims to match the circadian needs of the occupants, with warmer light in the morning shifting to cooler light midday, and back to warm in the evening. Luminaires with lower blue light content are used at night to help facilitate sleep.
  4. Nara Medical University School of Medicine (Japan): Study on how artificial light at nighttime is correlated with depression and metabolic anomalies in the elderly.
  5. Imperial College London and LMU Munich: Blue light activates Type 2 diabetes drug in human pancreatic cells studied in the lab and may allow improved regulation of blood sugar.
  6. Tulane University Circadian Cancer Biology Group: Light exposure at night appeared to negate the efficacy of cancer drug Tamoxifen in rats infused with breast cancer.
  7. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: A study found that light exposure in the morning was linked with lower Body Mass Index in adults.
  8. RPI’s Lighting Research Center and Duke: A light-measuring device worn by lemurs may help researchers gain insight into sleep disturbances affecting people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

February 2015