IES to Hold Symposium on Lighting for the Elderly

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) will present a symposium on the role and effects of lighting on the elderly here on Mar. 6-7, 2012. The Lighting + Seniors symposium will focus on two key areas -- vision (glare, visibility of tasks, lighting and independent living) and health (sleep, depression, circadian disruption and quality-of-life issues) -- and will feature the latest research on the special lighting needs of this growing segment of the population.

It's IES' first symposium, said Kevin Flynn, symposium steering committee chair, and "hopefully not its last." The aim was to generate discussion and the symposium's speakers included ones outside the lighting community as well, as sometimes research is happening in other industries or countries that people are not aware of, he said. Most of the speakers, for example, don't have a lighting background, he added. Among the speakers are Peter Hodgson, of London's Thomas Pocklington Trust, who will talk about housing design for seniors in Europe, and psychologist Donald Kline, University of Calgary, who will discuss about why light is important for the health and well being of the elderly.

Flynn added that he hoped the symposium was just a starting point on this topic, and "that it takes on a life after the symposium...We hope one of the outcomes is that we have a list of things that need to be changed."

The symposium will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Registration will be capped at 200 attendees.

In addition, researchers are invited to submit their posters for possible presentation at the symposium. For more information about the conference or submitting research posters, visit For questions, contact

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