Available courses for students of Tallinn University of Technology

(Are you studying at another institution?)

Measuring and Characterising Light and Lighting for Human Health
Other subject area
Organization logo: Technical University of Munich

About this course

Light impacts human health and well-being profoundly. Light-sensitive cells in the back of our eye signal to the brain during night or day, thereby synchronising our physiological rhythms to the environment. Notably, when we are exposed to light at the wrong time, this can have negative physical and mental health consequences. In recent years, the metrology of optical radiation has been overhauled to include these so-called "non-visual" effects of light. Rather than just quantifying (il)iluminance or colour, melanopic quantities have been introduced, which relate physical measurements of light to its effect on human physiology and behaviour. This course will introduce concepts for measuring and characterising light and lighting in the context of human health. Specifically, the focus will be on measurement geometries, photometry, colorimetry and the recent International Standard CIE S 026/E:2018. The course is suited for students from diverse backgrounds, including neuroscience, psychology, biology, engineering and light design/architecture. This practical course involves participating in the 1-week intensive summer school in Chexbres (27 July to 3 August 2024). The summer school will provide a combination of lectures and practical workshops on measuring light, colour and spectrum, with a specific focus on understanding the human response to light.

Expected learning outcomes

At the end of the module students are able to:

  • to understand the relationship between light exposure and human health from a physiological and behavioural perspective
  • to understand the difference between photometric, colorimetric, radiometric and spectral measurements of light for a human perspective
  • to evaluate reports of light measurements in the literature
  • to apply different light measurement and dosimetry techniques
  • to apply newly gained knowledge and techniques in research applications.


Project work: Literature search and brainstorming for the project (before the summer school), Project protocol/plan, project development and oral presentation (during the summer school) and final report (after the summer school). During the 1-week practical course, students will be working on a specific project in the area of light measurement for human health (group work). This project can be empirical (collection of new data) or theoretical/computational (analysis of existing data). Project topics will be suggested prior to the summer school or developed by the group. Students will conduct a literature search prior to the school (10%), write a protocol/plan for the project (15%), present the work in an oral presentation supported by slides (25%) and individually prepare a written, fully referenced report (50%).

Course requirements



Literature search, Lectures, practical demonstration, project work

More information$ctx/wbModHBReport.wbGenHTMLForBeschr?pKnotenNr=3051511&pSemesterNr=198&pLangCode=EN
  • Local course code
  • Study load
    ECTS 4
  • Level
  • Contact hours per week
  • Instructors
    Manuel Spitschan
  • Mode of delivery
  • Course coordinator
If anything remains unclear, please check FAQ page.
  • Start date

    28 July 2024

    • End date
      3 August 2024
    • Main language
    • Apply between
      11 Dec and 19 Jan 2024
    • Time info
    Enrolment period closed