luox: novel open-access and open-source web platform for calculating and sharing physiologically relevant quantities for light and lighting.
Spitschan M., Mead J., Roos C., Lowis C., Griffiths B., Mucur P., Herf M.
Light exposure has a profound impact on human physiology and behaviour. For example, light exposure at the wrong time can disrupt our circadian rhythms and acutely suppress the production of melatonin. In turn, appropriately timed light exposure can support circadian photoentrainment. Beginning with the discovery that melatonin production is acutely suppressed by bright light more than 40 years ago, understanding which aspects of light drive the 'non-visual' responses to light remains a highly active research area, with an important translational dimension and implications for "human-centric" or physiologically inspired architectural lighting design. In 2018, the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) standardised the spectral sensitivities for predicting the non-visual effects of a given spectrum of light with respect to the activation of the five photoreceptor classes in the human retina: the L, M and S cones, the rods, and the melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Here, we described a novel, lean, user-friendly, open-access and open-source platform for calculating quantities related to light. The platform, called luox, enables researchers and research users in chronobiology, sleep research and adjacent field to turn spectral measurements into reportable quantities. The luox code base, released under the GPL-3.0 License, is modular and therefore extendable to other spectrum-derived quantities.