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Society of Light and Lighting research into human responses to lighting based on LEDs

The Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) has been awarded funding from the CIBSE Research Fund for research into human responses to lighting based on LEDs. As Government promotes use of this energy efficient lighting in all circumstances, SLL looks to provide evidence on when LEDs are truly better and how they affect the public.

The use of LED light sources for all forms of lighting applications is escalating at a rapid rate. The implementations are fuelled by political pressure on lighting energy savings and by the continuous claims of higher efficiency characteristics of LED sources. However, many LEDs are made and supplied by companies that understand electronics, but may not understand lighting and the human response to light so well. This means that many inappropriate products may be on the market and that some products that are OK are not supported by suitable or correct information to permit appropriate application of the products.

Poor information and uncertainty cause concerns to end users to such extent that they resist adopting LEDs, particularly in office and road lighting: two areas of lighting which have huge opportunities for reductions in energy costs. There is also an increasing public scepticism of manufacturers’ claims fanned by a number of sceptics and by sensational newspaper headlines on harmful effects of LED lighting: this is why the industry needs research commissioned by a leading independent professional lighting organisation.

The initial phase of the SLL research will focus on the LED lighting characteristics affecting humans.

  1. Measurement of flicker of LEDs currently available on the market.
  2. Assessment of the impact of flicker on users.
  3. Measurement of colour of LEDs currently available on the market.
  4. Assessment of the role of derived colour metrics.

Each year SLL submits potential lighting projects to the CIBSE Research Fund. Any SLL Member can submit proposals via the SLL’s Technical and Publication Committee for consideration. The CIBSE Research Fund was set up in the 1990’s with the SLL’s Paul Ruffles as one of the initial members of its advisory committee.

Past lighting projects funded by CIBSE Research Fund have included a three year study of maintenance factors in real world environments and a comparative study of the results from a number of lighting simulation programmes to an actual lit room.

For more information on the Society visit  or contact Secretary Brendan Keely.