Light is critical to our circadian rhythms, the physiological cycles based on patterns of light and dark that repeat every 24 hours. Darkness during the evening helps signal to our bodies to produce melatonin and fall asleep. Morning light stimulates our neural signals for the brain to wake up.
Disturbing this internal clock can affect our performance and health. Light systems, timing light exposure with the circadian clock, can increase sleep efficiency, alertness, and well-being. Scientific findings have shown light can also reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In the above photo, SPIE Member Jean-Luc Dorier demonstrates how light therapy glass can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Dorier is a research engineer at SICPA and formerly a research and development scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Dorier is one of 32 contestants for the People’s Choice Award competition in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest. Judges have already chosen three winners, but now it's your turn to choose. SPIE is providing a prize of US $500 to the People's Choice winner. Online voting continues through 15 August.
For more information about light therapy, see:
Other People’s Choice finalists who demonstrated light in health:
|"Medical Operating," by David Martin Huamani Bedoya, Dos De Mayo Hospital, Lima, Peru, 30 January 2014. The handling of surgical tools requires the utmost sensitivity. Surgeons need the best LED lighting when they are operating. Above, Bedoya displays surgeons operating on a heart under LEDs. See Huamani Bedoya’s portfolio.|
|"The Good Light," by Gabriele Orlini, health center in the Ntita Village, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 June 2012. Orlini’s photo is a part of his photo series covering a project called 9 Moons (mAma), which focuses on the side effects of sexually assaulted women who are unwanted by their tribal societies. See Orlini’s portfolio.|
See more contestants' photos in previous posts in this series: