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Light + Health Workshop

May 25, 2017 @ 7:30 am - 1:00 pm



Exposure to light – both daylight and electric light – can impact human health.

These impacts are many and varied: eyestrain can result from poor lighting where it is difficult to make out the necessary details; light plays a key role in governing the circadian system, an internal clock that keeps the body synchronised through the day; and certain wavelengths of light falling on the skin can produce either beneficial vitamin D or cause tissue damage.

Lighting research has moved beyond just determining how much light is needed to see a person or an object to an examination of the lighting “dose” – the quantity of light that is helpful or harmful based upon the intensity of that light, its duration, its spectrum and even its timing. There is still much to learn about the health effects of lighting but there can be no doubt that they need to be considered by both, the lighting designer and medical doctors.

IESBC and BC Hydro invite you to join us for a half-a-day event to get the first-hand information from our renowned guest speakers on the exiting topic of Light and Health!

SEMINAR 1 Light and Health: What we know, what we don’t know and what we need to know!

Dr. Mariana G. Figueiro, Ph.D., is Light and Health Program Director at the Lighting Research Center and Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, USA. She conducts research on the effect of light on human health, circadian photobiology, and lighting for older adults. She is the author of more than 70 scientific articles in her field of research, along with the AARP-sponsored publication, Lighting the Way: a Key to Independence, which provides guidelines on lighting for older adults.


Lighting isn’t just for vision! Light is the main synchronizer of our circadian rhythms to the local time on Earth. Lack of synchrony has been linked to a series of maladies. So light matters!
Lighting for the circadian system, however, employs lighting design objectives that differ from those typically used in traditional architectural lighting design, and therefore, requires metrics that differ from those currently used by lighting designers.
In this presentation, the limitations of current lighting metrics (e.g., CCT, lux) in specifying light for the circadian system will be discussed. Practical design solutions to increase the potential for circadian light exposure in buildings and new field data using investigating the health effects of light will be discussed.
The goal of this seminar is to provide attendees with the latest research as it can be applied, and the knowledge necessary to improve our modern living environments with healthy lighting.


• Understand the limitations of current lighting metrics in the lighting design for the circadian system
• Familiarization with the latest research data on the health effect of light
• Discussion of the practical design solutions to increase the potential for circadian light exposure in buildings

SEMINAR 2 Light: Biological and Therapeutic Effects on Human Health

Dr. Raymond W. Lam, MD, FRCPC is Professor and BC Leading Edge Chair in Depression in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. In the UBC Department of Psychiatry, he is the Associate Head for Research, and the Residency Director of Scholarly Activity and Research Track. Dr. Lam is also Director of the Mood Disorders Centre at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health in Vancouver. His research examines clinical and neurobiological factors in seasonal, treatment-resistant and workplace depression, clinical trials and guidelines, and e-MentalHealth. Dr. Lam is also a lead investigator for the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND), Executive Chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), and Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Digital Hub for Mental Health, hosted at UBC. His research is supported by many agencies and sponsors including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Environmental light is now recognized as vitally important for health and disease. Recent discovery of retinal photopigments that transmit circadian light signals to the brain and genetic studies of the biological clock have advanced our understanding of the effects of light on mood and behaviour. The therapeutic use of bright light has expanded beyond its proven effectiveness in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to treatment of nonseasonal depression and circadian sleep disorders. In this presentation, Dr. Lam will provide an overview of the biological effects of light and its therapeutic effects on mood, energy, eating and sleep.


• Realize the interconnection of light and human health
• Understand the effect of light on human mood and behaviour
• Learn how light can be used for medical treatment


7:30am – 8:00am Registration & Breakfast
8:00am – 10:00am Seminar 1 and Q&A session
10:00am – 10:30am Break & Mingling
10:30am – 12:00pm Seminar 2 and Q&A session
12:00pm – 12:45pm Lunch & Collaboration
12:45pm – 1:00pm Event wrap-up


May 25, 2017
7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:
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BC Hydro Power Smart
333 Dunsmuir Street 2nd floor
vancouver, Canada


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