Healthy Lighting Symposium 2017

Susan Mander and Chris Chitty with test racks in the photometric laboratory.

The lighting choices we make, the effects of different types of light, and our changing habits will be the subject of discussion at the Healthy Lighting Symposium 2017.

As the amount of lighting choices skyrocket and our habits draw us closer and closer to screens, the symposium, held this Friday at Massey University’s Auckland campus, will focus on the theme ‘using light to promote health and wellbeing’.

Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Mrs Susan Mander says that people need to be thinking about the role that light plays in everyday life.

“It is well known that lighting can affect health and wellbeing. Sleep patterns, productivity, alertness, and safety are all known to be affected by the quantity and quality of light provided, and people need to think about these things when making lighting choices for their homes and workplaces.

“By gathering together minds from across the spectrum of lighting, we start to understand how we can do things better and where more work needs to be done.”

Mrs Mander says the symposium will bring together more than just scientists and researchers.

“Anyone with an interest in lighting and its effects on health and wellbeing should attend to update their knowledge and share what they have learned. We invite anyone from lighting designers to architects, engineers, property managers, lighting suppliers, workplace health and safety professionals, health professionals and school board members.”

Speakers will present on topics such as the potential benefits of blue light exposure and the controversies surrounding blue-rich white light. Lighting for schools, workplaces and the older adults will also be discussed. The day will also include facilitated round-table discussions, which will provide opportunities for collaborative thinking and networking.

Questions to be addressed include: How do new lighting technologies like LED provide opportunities for better health? What are the potential pitfalls? How well do our lighting standards address health and wellbeing? What does the latest research tell us?

The keynote address ‘Lighting, biological clocks and sleep - considerations for architecture’ will be given by University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Guy Warman.

Mrs Mander says that the symposium and subsequent discussions will ideally provide a plan for healthy lighting in New Zealand.

Other speakers include Massey Sleep/Wake Research Centre’s Dr Lora Wu, Otago Polytechnic’s Dr Mary Butler, University of Auckland’s Andrew Collins, Beca’s Laurie Cook, Victoria University’s Associate Professor Michael Donn, Strategic Lighting Partners’ Bryan King.

The symposium is hosted with support from the New Zealand Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (IESANZ) and will be held in the Atrium Building of the University’s Albany Campus.

Lighting at Massey

Massey currently offers specialist lighting education through the Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology (Lighting). The programme is offered at Massey University’s Albany campus and is part-time over two years.

The programme is aimed at meeting the needs of lighting designers and other lighting professionals, including electrical engineers, architects and interior designers. There is a strong emphasis on the energy efficiency issues that are now a major focus for the lighting industry.

The Albany campus also houses a photometric laboratory, which is commercially available to assist the lighting industry.

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