Center Works with Industry Group To Produce Roadmap for Developing Lighting in Healthcare Facilities

Achievement date: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and the Illumination Engineering Society conducted a workshop to bridge the gap between basic research and practical applications. The effort produced a white paper for developing lighting applications for healthcare and eldercare facilities.


The white paper created a roadmap for addressing past research that inadequately measured light spectral properties, human exposure conditions, and physiological impacts. The inconsistent results confused the lighting design community. The paper proposes next steps in defining value creation as well as near-, mid-, and long-term research on lighting and health benefits.


It is increasingly clear that more evidence-based studies are required to fully understand and refine the precise role of light spectrum, intensity, and timing on the benefits of healthy lighting. The results will help guide the development of commercially viable applications. The workshop was held to initiate an important dialogue between all stakeholders on the latest research findings and opportunities for improving patient care through dynamic lighting.

Participants in the workshop voiced many different interpretations of the role of light in regulating human circadian phase, leading to a long delay before the white paper was completed for publication. This only served to illustrate why the workshop was so valuable and the continuing need to engage stakeholders who will be relying on research in making decisions on lighting design and its possible impact on patients and shift workers.