Let's Talk About Light and Health

Education / Let's Talk About Light and Health 

Monthly Q&A webinar series following interviews with experts in various topics of light and health

In 2022, the Light and Health Research Center (LHRC), working with the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), developed a monthly series that incorporated a variety of topics with experts in various backgrounds.

In 2023, the series continues with quarterly events. Randy and Allison invite two guest speakers per webinar to expand the conversation between lighting and industry experts. The mission of the webinars is to get people from various backgrounds in the same discussion about the important role light plays in many applications.

Hosted by Randy Reid of the NLB

Produced by Allison Thayer of the LHRC

2023 Series

Upcoming Events

Bright Light in the Day
Improves a Hospital Stay

Lighting for Healthcare

March 27, 2023 at 1:00 PM EST - COMPLETED

Speakers: Mariana Figueiro, PhD & David Reich, MD

Modern healthcare environments are becoming more and more complex. This session will discuss the important role that lighting plays in supporting the needs of staff, patients, and visitors in modern healthcare settings.

Getting the Job Done

Lighting for the New Office Paradigm

May 22, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST - COMPLETED

Speakers: Mark S. Rea, PhD & Kevin Kampschroer

The way we use office buildings is changing. This session will discuss the import role of lighting in promoting health for office workers whether working from home, the office, or some combination of the two.

Proceed With Caution 

Lighting for Emergency Responder Safety

September 18, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST - COMPLETED

Speakers: John Bullough, PhD & Jack Sullivan, CSP, CFPS

Lighting on emergency vehicles can often create confusion for oncoming drivers, leading to increased risks for first responders. This session will discuss recent research that could lead to improved lighting for emergency vehicles to make both the vehicles and emergency workers more visible to oncoming traffic.

Home Is Where the Light Is

Residential Light Fixture Program

November 13, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST

Speakers: Jennifer Brons, MS, Eric Jacobson, CAE, & Terry McGowan, FIES, LC

Sleep is important to people’s health and well-being. This session will discuss a new program developed jointly by the LHRC and the American Lighting Association (ALA) to help residential lighting customers to identify and select light fixtures that will help to improve their sleep.

Guest Speakers

Mariana Figueiro, PhD

Director, Light and Health Research Center

Dr. Figueiro is well known for her research on the effects of light on human health, circadian photobiology, and lighting for older adults. Her Ph.D. dissertation research at Rensselaer focused on the human circadian response to light. To date, she has written over 100 journal articles and is currently the Principal Investigator for multiple major NIH grants for researching light’s effects on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

David Reich, MD

President, the Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens  

Dr. Reich is the Horace W. Goldsmith Professor of Anesthesiology and was Chair of the department prior to assuming his current positions in 2013. An academic cardiac anesthesiologist, he has published more than 200 articles, editorials, and book chapters. As a hospital executive, he has enhanced safety and quality by forming an institute for critical care medicine, rapidly deploying digital innovation tools including AI-enhanced clinical decision support, and leading in COVID-19 care and diagnostics.

Mark S. Rea, PhD

Professor, Light and Health Research Center

Dr. Rea is a professor at the Light and Health Research Center and an expert in human vision, lighting engineering, human factors, photobiology, psychology, and light and health. He is the author of more than 100 scientific and technical articles related to vision, lighting engineering, and human factors and was the editor-in-chief of the 8th and 9th editions of the IESNA Lighting Handbook. His current research projects include the study of the effects of light on circadian disruption, lighting to enhance the safety of emergency workers, and the development of a bias-free pulse oximetry device. Dr. Rea has conducted groundbreaking research in the areas of human visual performance, visual efficacy at nighttime light levels, and light and human health.

Kevin Kampschroer

Director, Office of High Performance Buildings, US General Service Administration

Mr. Kampschroer has created the framework for which GSA responds to the challenges of improving a diverse and aging portfolio of commercial buildings so that they can serve the mission needs of their occupants, support effective work, and deliver solid financial performance. His goal is to influence and accelerate industry capability and adoption of high-performance principles across all aspects of asset creation, operation, maintenance and disposal. His team manages the government’s implementation of a comprehensive improvement in the training and certification of facility managers and personnel across the entire Federal government (Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010).

John Bullough, PhD

Program Director, Light and Health Research Center

Dr. Bullough conducts research in a wide range of areas related including human factors, transportation lighting, and lighting for safety.  He has conducted numerous studies looking at the quantification and prediction of glare from both interior and exterior lighting systems and is the author of the recent book Understanding Glare in Exterior Lighting, Display, and Related Applications, published by the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

Jack Sullivan, CSP, CFPS

Director of Training, Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI)

Mr. Sullivan is a subject matter expert on roadway incident operations and emergency personnel safety and promotes proactive strategies and tactics for protecting emergency workers from being struck by vehicles. He teaches Roadway Incident Safety & Survival Workshops for emergency responders for ERSI and he is a Master Instructor for the FHWA SHRP2 Traffic Incident Management Train-the-Trainer Workshops.  He is also a Technical Member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and currently serves as the Chair of the Task Group for Chapter 6i of the MUTCD – “Control of Traffic Through Traffic Incident Management Areas”.

Jennifer Brons, MS

Research Program Director, Light and Health Research Center

Ms. Brons’ work has focused on lighting design applications and human factor studies for new lighting technologies. Over her 25-year career, Ms. Brons has developed lighting designs and specifications for a wide variety of commercial and residential clients. After practicing lighting design on sabbatical in London, she taught lighting design as part of the MS in Lighting degree program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for more than 10 years. In addition to her design and research activities, she develops educational material about the more effective use of light.

Eric Jacobson, CAE

Former President and CEO, American Lighting Association

Upon graduating from Baylor University, Mr. Jacobson was a President George Bush appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C. as a Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, serving as a liaison to trade associations and assisting with Congressional relations. He joined the American Lighting Association (ALA) in 1994. Jacobson has been involved in most aspects of ALA programming, including the ALA’s annual Washington D.C. Mission, which entails sitting down with members of Congress to discuss legislative issues impacting the residential lighting industry. In addition, Jacobson graduated from the Institute for Organization Management (IOM) and earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of ALA in 2014, and has been ALA’s President from 2015 until his recent retirement.

Terry K. McGowan, FIES, LC

Director of Engineering and Technology, American Lighting Association


Mr. McGowan is involved in illuminating engineering/lighting design, lighting education and lighting research. His professional career of 60+ years includes management positions at GE Lighting at Nela Park and his consulting business, Lighting Ideas, Inc. His clients include the Electric Power Research Institute where he was Director of the Lighting Research Office. These days, he acts on behalf of the American Lighting Association as their Director of Engineering and Technology and is the Executive VP of the J. H. McClung Lighting Research Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society and the 2009 recipient of the IES Medal Award in recognition of his work as a lighting educator, researcher and author.  

He and his wife, Charlotte, are Lifetime Members of DarkSky International where Mr. McGowan also serves as co-chair of their Technical Committee.

2022 Series

Your Daily Light: How Does Light Impact Your Health?

Speaker: Mariana Figueiro, PhD

Out of the Womb: Lighting Up the NICU

Speaker: Robert White, MD

A New Kind of Lullaby: Robust Light/Dark Pattern for Babies

Speaker: Sofia Axelrod, PhD

Hold the Coffee: Perking Up the Office with Lighting

Speaker: Bryan Steverson, MA

Skip the Nap: Consolidating Sleep for Older Adults

Speaker: Mariana Figueiro, PhD

Fe-Fi-Fo Fungicide: Light as a Natural Pesticide

Speaker: David Gadoury, PhD

It's a Complicated World Out There: Exposomics and Light

Speaker: Robert Wright, MD, MPH

Safety First: Making Driving Less Lethal

Speaker: John Bullough, PhD

Beyond the Visible: UV Disinfection

Speaker: Bernard Camins, MD

Let's Get Deep: Lighting in Submarines

Speaker: Commander Christopher Steele, PhD

Equal Lights: Projects Focused on Health Equity

Speaker: Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH

Not Your Typical Design: Circadian-Effective Lighting

Speaker: Allison Thayer, MS