Beyond the Visible

The proven effects of near-infrared light on our health and well-being

Dr. Anne Berends, Seaborough BV


March 15, 2024
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Credits 1 LU | HSW


The insights of visible light effects on human health have led to the emergence of ‘human-centric’ lighting. The health effects of far-red or near-infrared (NIR) light are less known (in the lighting community). These effects, called ‘photobiomodulation’ are mostly employed in therapeutic devices for wound healing or pain relief. However, a double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical study shows that photobiomodulation is a systemic effect: generally healthy people that are exposed to NIR light benefit from improved health and well-being. Unfortunately, indoors we are deprived of NIR light. Consequently, there is a need for NIR light sources that provide people indoors with the right dose of NIR light in an energy-efficient way to improve their health and well-being.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the difference between natural light and indoor illumination: look at wavelengths and intensities beyond the visible spectrum.
  • Understand the biological effect of near-infrared light on cell-level and what health benefits are scientifically proven for healthy people exposed to near-infrared light.
  • Understand the different perspective that is needed to think about invisible yet healthy light, as opposed to visible light.
  • Identify the most favorable design or use case to deliver the right dose of near-infrared light in the most energy- and cost-effective way.


Dr. Anne Berends
Dr. Anne Berends
Program Director of Life Science program
Seaborough BV

Dr. Anne Berends holds a PhD in materials science from Utrecht University. Currently, she is program director of the Life Science program at Seaborough. Anne and her team investigate how light affects human health and well-being, and develop technologies that improve our health and well-being while living our normal (indoor) life.

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