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Project Bundle 6 "Lighting of workplaces: technology assessment of AmI-based lighting systems"

Currently the lighting of workplaces in indoor environments is gaining importance because of scientific findings. Up to now good quality lighting should provide for the needed level of visual performance, but it also determines visual comfort and safety. Recent studies in the field of lighting explain the correlation between light, human performance and health. It is known that light is able to influence the circadian system (e.g. sleep/wake cycles), and thereby to trigger certain physiological (e.g. secretion of hormones) and psychological effects (e.g. alertness). These discoveries and the ongoing development of new lighting technologies (e.g. LEDs), have implications for designing light. Currently lighting designers and lamp manufacturers try to create a link between the previous approaches of visibility and the non-visual effects by the application of dynamic lighting systems. AmI-based lighting systems that are able to control illuminance and color temperature in terms of spatial and temporal distribution are in discussion. The impact of these systems on safety, health and performance of employees are not sufficiently examined at this stage. What is known is that insufficient or inappropriate light exposure is able to get the master clock out of sync which can result in short-term effects such as sleepiness during the day, insomnia at night and irritability. Continual exposure of light with short-wavelength energy may promote a chronic desynchronization of the circadian system and entrainment disorders like gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

This project bundle aims to identify benefits and risks of AmI-based lighting systems. Further, a new theoretical approach will be developed for the evaluation of safety and health-related aspects. For this purpose, open research questions about the non-visual effects will be addressed. For example the measurement and evaluation of circadian disruption due to AmI-based lighting systems caused by "blue light" at day or night. In addition to biological effects the BAuA will examine visual aspects and application-related aspects of these new lighting systems in the laboratory.