Ten years ago scientists discovered a brand new photo receptor in the mammalian eye. They found that these cells are sensitive to blue light, and that they are hardwired to the areas of the brain that control alertness.
This discovery is causing us to rethink our views on light—we need to think of light in terms of its biological effects, rather than simply how it is related to vision. For example, light has measurable effects on our hormones and brain activity, including sleep, alertness, performance, temperature regulation, and our psychologyal health.
Dr. Steven Lockley, our affiliated faculty member and neuroscientist at the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, spoke with Lighting Science Founder Fred Maxik to help us better understand the role light plays in our health and wellbeing.