LightAware is in the process of collating published research in the fields of technology, medicine and the environment. It seems that the charity has been founded at a time when society is on the cusp of a change in our perception of the importance of lighting.
On the one hand, there seems to be astoundingly little awareness about the effect of artificial light on human health and wellbeing – from the general public, as well as medics and policy makers. LightAware hears from many people suffering ill health from lighting, who say that their doctors and political representatives, as well as their friends and family, have never heard of the problem. And yet, dig a bit deeper and there is a growing amount of interest and research into the subject from every angle and from all around the world. There are government reports, international conferences, studies from engineering, dermatology, psychology, neurology, biology, expressions of concern from astronomers and environmentalists, from physicists and from the arts. There is enough published research to ring alarm bells about the impact of new forms of lighting on human health and wellbeing and on the wider environment. LightAware feels that it is necessary to ‘join the dots’ between the research being undertaken in different disciplines. We hope this will then inform a dialogue between scientists, policy makers and the public. It is imperative that those making decisions about light can see the bigger picture.