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LRC’s Figueiro and Nagare to Receive Leon Gaster Award

Director Mariana Figueiro and doctoral candidate Rohan Nagare of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, along with co-author Luke Price of Public Health England, have been selected to receive the prestigious Leon Gaster Award from the Society of Light and Lighting for the paper, “Non-visual effects of light: How to use light to promote circadian entrainment and elicit alertness,” published in the journal Lighting Research & Technology last year. The award will be presented at the Society’s Annual General Meeting on May 23 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK.

The award-winning paper summarizes the literature on how light affects circadian entrainment and alertness and how it can be used to achieve these aims. The authors begin with a discussion of the circadian system, the lighting characteristics that affect its outputs, and the analytical metrics that have been proposed to characterize those outputs. Measurement devices and techniques for accurately quantifying the circadian system’s outputs in the field are described, followed by a discussion of how they have been applied in practical, real-life settings. The authors also provide a summary of recent applied and field research among various populations such as older adults, adolescents and daytime office workers. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible research directions for the next 50 years.

The authors write that researchers have focused on the “spectral sensitivity of the human circadian system, but this aspect is not the whole story.” They note, “indeed, the variables of timing and duration have not always been considered in lighting, and yet, they are key elements in specifying lighting for the circadian system … it is the temporal relationship between the total circadian light–dark and activity–rest patterns that needs to be measured and controlled to reduce circadian disruption.”

Earlier this year, Rohan Nagare was also selected to receive the Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award. Nagare, who is originally from Mumbai, India, is pursuing his PhD in lighting at the LRC.

The full paper is available with free, open access, courtesy of the journal Lighting Research & Technology at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1477153517721598.

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