Delivered on 17th June 2021 by Professor Peter R. Boyce, MCIBSE, HonFSLL

Like so many events over the past 18 months, the 2021 Lecture, organised by the Lightmongers Education Committee, took place via Zoom.  Committee Chairman, Stuart Mucklejohn explained, “The lecture was originally planned for June 2020 and Dr Boyce was very keen that it should take place in person.  However, this pandemic continues to disrupt so we decided to proceed virtually rather than delay any longer.”

The lecture attracted over 70 people from all sectors of the lighting community drawn by the topic itself and the opportunity to hear such an eminent speaker.

Master Lightmonger, Rev Peter Harris, welcomes Dr Peter Boyce watched on by Stephanie Wright, widow of William Wright in whose honour the lecture is named and other Lightmonger guests including Dr Stuart Mucklejohn, Chairman of the Lightmongers Education Committee, who organised the lecture.

Dr Boyce’s career in lighting research spans over 50 years and he is a leading authority on the interaction of lighting and humans.  His work has influenced lighting standards and practices for decades and he is the author of ‘Human Factors in Lighting’ (published 2014) and numerous papers.

He is a Professor Emeritus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he conducted research on visual performance, visual comfort, circadian effects, emergency lighting, perceptions of safety and lighting for driving.

Prior to that role, he worked at the UK Electricity Council Research Centre, conducting research on visual fatigue, the influence of age on visual performance, visual problems associated with viewing computer screens, hue discrimination, safe lighting for emergency conditions and security lighting.

Dr Boyce is a Fellow both of the Society of Light and Lighting and of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.


Between 2008 and 2020 he was Editor of the quarterly journal of the Society of Lighting and Lighting (SLL), Lighting Research and Technology (LR&T).

In 2017, he was awarded Lux Person of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the Lighting Industry and in October 2019 was recognised by the Society of Light and Lighting for his contribution and service to CIBSE.


Peter Boyce took the audience on a fascinating journey to show the influence and importance of light and lighting on humans.

Addressing initially the comparatively simple ways of avoiding eyestrain and headaches (i.e. follow the appropriate lighting guidance and standards), Peter moved on to show how lighting can be used to mitigate the problems of those suffering from various neurological disorders.

The circadian system that governs the human sleep-wake cycle plays a vital role in our health, but it has only been studied in detail for the past 20 years. Disruption of the system can have major impacts on health, this is particularly apparent when sleep patterns are disturbed. These problems are often suffered by those who work changing shift patterns. Careful attention to lighting helps people manage their circadian rhythms; such approaches have proved particularly beneficial in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Peter closed his eloquent presentation by highlighting some recent advances in lighting research and confirming that there is still much to learn about the role of light, lighting and human health.

Lecture available to view for 30 days from 1st September to 30th September 2021.


The first Annual Lightmongers Lecture took place in 2016 introduced by William Wright, Past Master of the Lightmongers and Chairman of the Education Committee.  Sadly, Bill Wright died in 2017 after a short battle with cancer but his memory lives on in the lecture named in his honour.