Lighting for Seniors Symposium Cosponsored by ALA & IES

American Lighting Association

The American Lighting Association (ALA) has just announced its joint participation with the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) in  sponsoring the 2012 IES Research Symposium. The two-day event, named Light + Seniors: A Vision for the Future, will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 6 and 7. Among the topics that will be covered by prominent educators are: Why Light Is Important for the Health and Well-Being of the Elderly; The Relationship Between Senior Visual Conditions and the Restraint of Technology; Daylight Integration in Senior Living Design; and Linking Breakthroughs in Vision Research to Light and Health.
“This  is a first both for the IES and the ALA,” explains Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the ALA. ” The IES  is looking for ways to move lighting research knowledge into lighting practice faster and this symposium will be a model for that.”
In preparing for the event, the IES reached out to McGowan to serve as one of the symposium organizers since he had organized and managed several lighting research symposia for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) over the past few years.
The need for a dedicated symposium on the topic of lighting and the aging eye has become especially apparent considering the growing senior demographic. McGowan points out that 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the U.S., adding to the 50 million seniors already in place and more than 90% of them want to stay in their own homes as they age.
“This growing group is a potential market for residential lighting yet we couldn’t find many products specifically designed for seniors, even though existing research and lighting application information indicates that older eyes need more light, less glare, and other ‘fine tuning’ in order to maintain quality of seeing and quality of life,” McGowan states. “We also found researchers who were talking about the potential of lighting to help maintain better orientation for Alzheimer patients and even for people who want to improve their sleep quality (which turns out to be just about everyone).  As we proceeded with the planning, it seemed like an ideal concept to pass along to the ALA at a time when the residential lighting market was in need of fresh ideas and ways to stimulate growth.” In addition, the ALA has learned from builders that seniors represent a growing market for remodeling services, McGowan says, which means that virtually all types of luminaires can be involved.
“This is one of those rare opportunities to help an important and growing segment of our population with practical lighting solutions to help them maintain and improve their quality of life,” McGowan remarks.  “Furthermore, it helps grow the businesses of all segments of ALA membership in new ways.  It’s also a chance to expand our lighting knowledge and thinking, via research, into a new area that I’m calling “healthy lighting.’  Who knows where that might lead!”
The Light + Seniors: A Vision for the Future symposium is open to all professionals; membership in ALA or IES is not mandatory.  The IES is encouraging companies or organizations, such as the ALA, to schedule post-symposium meetings during the afternoon of Wednesday, March 7 to discuss how what they have heard or seen at the symposium can be turned into lighting practice or marketable products.  Meeting room arrangements can be made directly with the conference hotel: the  Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C.   The hotel is located in the center of  the city, near a Metro station and within walking distance of numerous other hotels and restaurants.  The location was also chosen to encourage attendance by agency and Congressional staff with an interest in programs and legislation affecting seniors.
Registration and other Light+Seniors Symposium information will be available shortly via the IES Web site which is
Here is the full roster of Symposium:
7:00AM – 7:45AM – Continental Breakfast
8:00AM – 8:15AM – Welcome Day #1
Why Light is Important for the Health and Well Being of the Elderly
Dr. Donald Kline, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Calgary
9:15AM – 10:00AM – Vision Paper #1
Relationship Between Senior Visual Conditions and the Restraint of Technology
Dr. Robert Massof, PhD, Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center, Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University
10:45AM – 11:30AM – Vision Paper #2
A Global Perspective: CIE TC3-44 Committee Findings & Recommendations
Yukio Akashi, University of Fukui, chair of CIE TC 3-44,Lighting for the Elderly
11:45AM – 12:30PM – Vision Paper #3
Falls and Falls Prevention Relation to Lighting
Jon Pynoos, M.C.P.,PhD, UPS Foundation Professor of Gerontology, Policy, and Planning and Co-Director of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence at the Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM – Lunch
2:15PM – 3:00PM – Health Keynote
Linking Breakthroughs in Vision Research to Light and Health
Dr. George “Bud” Brainard, PhD, Director of Light Research Program at Thomas Jefferson University
3:15PM – 4:00PM – Health Paper # 1
Circadian Rhythm Disruption: Differences and Consequences in the General Population
Eus van Someren – Head of the Department of Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Speaker Q+A | Break | Posters
4:45PM – 5:30PM – Health Paper #2
Daylight Integration in Senior Living Design
Mary Alcaraz, PE, LC, CEM, LEED AP, IES, Principal at Ewing Cole
5:45PM – 6:30PM – Health Paper #3
Measuring Circadian Stimulus and Dosage
Dr. Mariana Figueiro, PhD – Health Paper Program Director | Associate Professor Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
7:00AM – 7:45AM – Continental Breakfast
8:00AM – 8:15AM – Welcome Day #2
8:15AM – 9:00AM – Keynote
Moving from Research to Practice, Access to Care, Interventions, Public Policy
James W. Hunt, Jr. – Health Keynote President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
9:15AM – 10:00AM – Session #1
Improving Practice: Physical Changes in Housing Design for Seniors
Peter Hodgson, Architect at Thomas Pocklington Trust
10:15AM – 11:00AM – Session #2
Regulatory Opportunities
Robert DuPuy, IALD, LC – Improving Practice: Policy Changes
Associate Principal | Lighting Studio Team Leader at Interface Engineering
11:00AM – 11:30AM – Speaker Q+A | Break | Posters
11:45AM – 1:00PM – Concluding Session
What Do We Know…What Don’t We Know…What Are We Going to Do
Dr. Peter Boyce, PhD – Concluding Session
Professor Emeritus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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