Value of Light for Human Functioning

Sound Lighting

Demonstrating the value of light for human functioning with scientific research




Sound Lighting

The lighting domain is changing from off-the-shelf point solutions towards 24/7 meaningful lighting services. This research program is contributing to this development through a program that demonstrates the value of light for human functioning with scientific research.

It has adopted an agenda of translational and integrative research: it seeks to perform the research that is necessary to test the relevance and implications of very fundamental insights for daytime exposure, day- active people, and in real-world applications, and is integrative in the sense that it builds on various scientific disciplines and includes both image-forming and non-image forming effects of light, in the service of promoting health, wellbeing and sustainability.

Our research challenges

Perception - Seeing better and more comfortably

We aim to improve vision through lighting by better understanding human visual perception. We investigate how light characteristics (such as brightness, color, diffuseness and dynamics) influence the appearance of objects, spaces and light itself depending on the application and the target group. With this knowledge, the goal is to specify guidelines for task- and person-tailored light applications.

Emotion and social experience - Bringing out the best in people

We aim to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of light on spatial and social behavior and experience. For public spaces, this goes beyond functional lighting. Experience in this sense includes mood, atmosphere perception, safety feelings, aggression, and crowding. We aspire to using these insights for real life applications (e.g., crowd control, ambience creation systems), fostering novel smart lighting applications through user involvement and novel business models.

Cognition - Making day-active people smarter with diurnal light

Building on psychological, chronobiological and neuroscientific research, we investigate effects of light on cognition and cognitive performance under natural conditions: during the day, everyday tasks, active participants. We consider both image-forming and non-image forming effects of light, and aim to close the gap between fundamental research and real-world application, to formulate meaningful and evidence–based requirements for light for cognitive performance.

Health – Supporting the balance within

In the transition towards healing environments our biggest challenge is to convincingly establish relationships between lighting on the one hand, and patient wellbeing and staff performance on the other. We focus on mental health considering both image-forming and non-image forming effects of light. We aim to use light to support healthy lifestyles, improve mental health with light, optimize light for independent living, and design multi-user lighting controls.

Interaction and control

While early generations of connected lighting have been controlled by individuals using apps on tablets or mobile phones, we foresee a future in which the lighting system is context-aware, and seamlessly and intuitively caters to both individuals and multi-user settings. Therefore our research focuses on intuitive controls and automatic scene setting and recommendations enabled by sensor and usage data-analytics.

Light and building design - Integration and validation

Ambitions in this research line come down to striking the balance: the optimization of lighting design for specific spaces and users, through integrating insights from domains of perception, emotion, cognition, health and energy to attain truly sustainable lighting. This should result in concrete recommendations for sound lighting designs.








Some of our researchers