The Illuminating Engineering Society  (IES) will host its first research symposium on lighting’s effects on the aging population on March 6-7, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The event, titled “Light + Seniors – A Vision for the Future,” will present research on how lighting affects the vision and overall health of senior citizens, and is being co-sponsored by the American Lighting Association  (ALA) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association  (NEMA).
Kevin Flynn, Executive Vice President of Kiku Obata & Co.  and Chair of the symposium’s planning committee, says lighting and seniors is an important issue to cover, given the large number of baby boomers approaching retirement age, and that IES hopes to hold other symposia if this one proves successful.
“We thought this was a very timely issue to do, and we hoped that by having it in D.C., we could entice policymakers to come as well,” he says. “The idea behind these symposia is to accelerate the rate of bringing lighting research into lighting practice, create market opportunities for the lighting industry and identify additional research opportunities.”
The event is geared toward those working in the lighting and senior living areas, including lighting designers, manufacturers, educators, researchers and policymakers.
“The good thing about this symposium is that we’re reaching out of the box,” Flynn says. “It won’t be solely IES members, but will also focus on the regulative side of things.”
Flynn says the planning committee hopes to make this a very practical event. In addition to research papers on light’s effects on vision and health, there will also be sessions on design and policy changes.
The symposium will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., and registration will be available on the IES website sometime in the next few weeks.
For more information on lighting design for aging eyes, see this article  from Residential Lighting’s October issue.