People need light, not only to see but also to function well, physically and mentally. Unfortunately, the amount of daylight we get is under pressure from urbanization, the 24-hour economy, and the many hours we spend indoors. Our performance and our health suffer as a result. This is why Eindhoven University of Technology, together with six other universities, launched a special training program for young light researchers. The fifteen researchers will work together to find smart lighting solutions that support people.
Light plays a major role in what we perceive, and in how we feel and think. This works through the rods and cones in our eyes, but also through a third type of receptor, according to recent research. Disruption of these processes, for example in people who work at night, can have all kinds of harmful consequences. Think of insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, or even cancer. It is therefore very important that we better understand how these processes work, and how we can design our homes, offices, factories, and public spaces in such a way that people get enough of the right kind of light (e.g. daylight or artificial light).
TU/e has therefore taken the initiative, together with universities in Liège, Manchester, Sheffield, Basel, Lausanne, and Berlin and a number of companies and other institutions, to train specialized light researchers. These include neuroscientists, psychologists, sleep researchers, and light engineers and designers.
The research ranges from very fundamental research (e.g. what is the effect of light on the eyes and brain cells of mice) and laboratory and field research (e.g. what is the exact influence of daylight on people with insomnia) to concrete applications of light in everyday life (e.g. in traffic and in offices).
Researchers involved in this project
Yvonne de Kort
Eindhoven University of Technology
University of Manchester
University of Sheffield
University of Liège
University of Basel
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Technische Universität Berlin