Author(s): Donald L. McEachron & Eugenia Victoria Ellis
Although world life expectancy has more than doubledover the past two centuries1 due to advances in medicine,public health and technology,2 questions couldbe raised as to whether or not the quality of humanlife can keep up with this increase in longevity. Untilthe last century or so, people traditionally woke upwith the sunrise and went to bed shortly after sunset,possibly extending the day with candlelight, oil lampor a fire. By the early 20th century, the use of electriclighting had become common3 and people couldstay awake throughout the night. Today, postindustrialsociety is experiencing a proliferation of light-relateddisorders and diseases precisely because this technologically-based society can operate 24 hours per dayin electrically illuminated indoor environments. Thispaper discusses lighting and light at night as possiblecontributors to the recent increase in chronic diseaseand provides recommendations for indoor environmentalillumination to promote health and wellbeingfor today’s society.
Luis Francisco Rico-Gutierrez & Martha Thorne