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Insights from the Daylight Academy Conference in Trondheim

Blog by Marijke Gordijn

At the end of May, the Daylight Academy held its annual conference in Trondheim, Norway. About 100 participants from around the world attended the meeting and discussed the importance of daylight and how to improve human exposure to this sustainable form of light. Daylight is the natural light from the sun. It contains the full spectrum and shows a clear rhythm, with high intensities during the day to see well, but also to support our biological clock and sleep well at night. The daylight spectrum includes more than just the visible part; there are short wavelengths that are important for vitamin D production, and near-infrared wavelengths that are important for the immune system.

Photo by Marijke Gordijn

The Daylight Academy is a non-profit organization, initiated and funded by the Velux Stiftung. They bring together scientists from different backgrounds: architects, engineers, urban planners, sleep experts, chronobiologists and other professionals involved in daylight research or with a strong interest in daylight-related topics. Jan Denneman, chairman of the Good Light Group, became a member in 2023, Marijke Gordijn became a member at this meeting. The DLA and the GLG both have the same mission: encouraging exposure to the right light at the right time. By working together we can reach a larger audience and hope to make a real impact.

In Trondheim we discussed how we can use daylight in the service of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We wondered why daylight is not mentioned by the European Environment Agency, while noise and clean air, for example, are. We listened to three keynote talks and participated in interdisciplinary parallel sessions. One of these sessions involved measuring northern twilight on the hotel roof at 11pm, with several participants bringing different instruments to capture the changing light. In another session we explored strategies to create more awareness among citizens about the importance of daylight. This last topic is of interest to both the Good Light Group and the Daylight Academy and hopefully we can come up with an interesting collaborative project to take this message further.


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