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A novel, portable device that measures and records light exposure

Due to social and economic changes and technological progress, humans no longer follow the natural light/dark cycle, but live in a 24-hour society. Daytime is spent in indoor settings, where light levels are a fraction of those outdoors. The darkness during the night is impacted by the use of artificial light. Whereas the connection between light exposure and human circadian entrainment is well established, the research community was missing two key items for a long time:

  • an agreement on what metrics to use
  • a suitable measuring device

The first gap was closed with the publication of CIE S 026:2018 – «CIE System for Metrology of Optical Radiation for ipRGC-Influenced Responses to Light»; the second gap is being addressed by the light-dosimeter.


The light-dosimeter is a novel, portable device, which records a person’s individual light exposure over time, i.e. its amount and spectral composition. Attached to a spectacle frame it takes measurements in the near-corneal plane, which is viewed as the best available proxy to retinal irradiation by most researchers. The custom-made software «Lido Studio» converts the measurements into the metrics standardised in CIE S 026:2018. Data can be analysed directly in Lido Studio or exported as a PDF report or a comma-separated values (CSV) file for further in-depth time-series analyses. The light-dosimeters were tested by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).


The key specifications are the following:

  • Spectral range: 380 nm – 780 nm
  • Intensity range: from 5 lx – 100k+ lx
  • Measurement interval: 10 sec
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • Interface: Micro-USB
  • Metrics used according to CIE S 026:2018
  • Tilt measurements
  • Event marker
  • IP20


After the Velux Stiftung approved the funding for the project «Light exposure and health – light-dosimeter for the longterm recording and examination of biologically effective radiation and its effect on humans» (Project No. 1134), an interdisciplinary team from the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture, combining knowledge in light and lighting, electronics, product design, information technology and project management, started with the development of the light-dosimeter in early 2018. In addition, the project was  supported by three external partners:


People who contributed to the project from the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture:

  • Prof. Björn Schrader, Institute of Building Technology and Energy (IGE)
  • Prof. Othmar Schälli, Institute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Dr. Giselher WichmannInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Prof. Erich StygerInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Christian Di Battista, Institute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Janine Stampfli, Institute of Building Technology and Energy (IGE)
  • Reto Häfliger, Institute of Building Technology and Energy (IGE)
  • Christoph ZumbühlInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Martin FriedliInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Said Ahsaine, Institute of Building Technology and Energy (IGE)
  • Stefan Ineichen, Institute of Building Technology and Energy (IGE)
  • Diego Rohner, Institute of Innovation and Technology Management (IIT)
  • Silvio EmmeneggerInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Christian JostInstitute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Stefan Lustenberger, Mechanical Engineering and Energy Technology (IME)
  • David Huwyler, Institute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Erny Niederberger, Institute of Electrical Engineering (IET)
  • Justin Rüssli-Kueh, Institute of Electrical Engineering (IET)




  • CIE Midterm Conference 2021, Online: «The Light-Dosimeter – A New Device to Help Advance Research on the Non-visual Responses to Light» (27.9.2021)
  • Tageslicht-Symposium 2021, Online: «Licht-Dosimeter» (17.6.2021)
  • Swiss Lighting Forum, Basel, Switzerland: «Human Centric Lighting – Hohe Erwartungen wecken reicht nicht aus» (30.1.2020)
  • BioWi, Weimar, Germany: «Licht-Dosimeter – Aufzeichnung einer ‘Light History’ von Probanden» (12.11.2019)
  • EUROSHNET, Dresden, Germany: «Light dosimeter – recording an individual’s light history» (12.6.2019)
  • LICHT2018, Davos, Switzerland: «Light-Dosimeter 2.0 for Research» (11.9.2018)
  • Light & Building, Frankfurt, Germany: «HCL-Light-Dosimeter 2.0 – Zur Erfassung der zeitlichen Strahlenexposition von Probanden» (22.3.2018)


  • CIE Midterm Conference 2021, «The Light-Dosimeter – A New Device to Help Advance Research on the Non-visual Responses to Light» (27.9.2021)



  • Baublatt (14/2021): «Vom Recht auf einen hellen Arbeitsplatz» (S. 8-10)
  • WirPlus (4/2021): «Lichtblicke für moderne ‘Höhlenmenschen’ – Es werde Licht im Homeoffice» (S. 18-21)
  • Bulletin (11/2019): «Die LED ist angekommen – Neue Themen in der Lichtforschung» (S. 10-17)
  • LICHT (4/2019): «Auf- und Umbruchstimmung in der Lichtforschung» (S. 80-81)
  • ET Licht (2/2019): «Mit Lichtgeschwindigkeit in die Zukunft» (S. 8)


    Lucerne University of Applied Sciences
    Engineering and Architecture
    Technikumstrasse 21
    6048 Horw

    Contact person:

    Janine Stampfli
    phone: +41 (0)41 349 35 75