Last edited 06 May 2018

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Lighting and health FB 74

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

Lighting and health (FB 74) was written by Cosmin Ticleanu, Stephanie King, Paul Littlefair and Gareth Howlett, BRE, Feride Şener Yilmaz, Istanbul Technical University, and Marielle Aarts and Jüliette van Duijnhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology. It was published by BRE on 7 August 2015.

Lighting and health fb 74.jpg

Lighting can affect the health of people in buildings. This goes beyond the safety aspects of providing enough illumination to see by; lighting affects mood and human circadian rhythms. Poor lighting can cause glare, headaches, eyestrain, skin conditions and various types of sight loss. It is important for designers, building owners and occupants to be aware of these issues.

A substantial amount of research has been carried out in this area, and this 64-page report reviews that research, asking easy-to-understand questions such as: Can LEDs keep you awake at night and damage your brain? Can special lighting help people with dementia? and so on.

The report concludes with guidance for lighting designers, building occupants and building managers, helping them maximise the health benefits of lighting and minimise the health risks.

The contents of the report are:

  • Acronyms.
  • Executive summary.
  • Safe, healthy lighting for tasks.
  • Circadian and seasonal rhythms.
  • Optical hazards.
  • Light exposure to skin.
  • Indirect impacts.
  • Special types of lighting.
  • Recommendations.
  • References.
  • Further reading.

--BRE Group

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