Darkness by Design

Jane Slade, Speclines

Location: Murray Hill

March 19, 2024
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm EST

Credits 1 LU | Elective


In this experiential presentation, attendees will be taken through a series of live lighting demonstrations regarding the perception of light, the adaptation of the eye, appreciation of scotopic vision, lighting for safety, and the importance of the natural daylight cycle. Demonstrations will showcase lighting strategies currently in practice that have caused light pollution, the relativity of light levels within public spaces, the perception of light by flora and fauna, the impact that the lack of darkness has on the daily life of humans, and improved lighting strategies to reduce planetary light levels.

A general understanding of light pollution would be helpful for this presentation.

Learning Objectives

  • To experience a wide range of light levels during the seminar to better understand light levels with regard to the adaptation of the eye, such as the experience of 1 footcandle starting from darkness versus the experience of 1 footcandle starting from brightness.
  • To experience a wide range of SPDs to understand the impact of different SPDs as they relate to photopic, mesopic and scotopic vision for humans, and the known impacts on wildlife.
  • To understand what the loss of darkness means for living things, such as the impacts on sleep, productivity, mood, and wellbeing for humans, and the treacherous experience of planetary light levels from the perspective of wildlife, from glare to skyglow.
  • To review design strategies to cultivate and reclaim natural darkness, and to compare and understand what we are missing when we lose the natural daylight cycle, darkness, and the night sky.


Jane Slade
Jane Slade
Specification Sales Manager

Jane Slade, MID, LC, IES is the Specification Sales Manager for Speclines in Massachusetts, a lighting manufacturer’s representative agency specializing in public outdoor lighting through an interdisciplinary approach of blending design, science and the latest technology. She is a lighting educator and researcher at Anatomy of Night (www.anatomyofnight.com), researching the many ways in which light impacts our environment, human health, wildlife, biodiversity, and interdependence. Jane is the host of the podcast Starving for Darkness, which advocates for sustainable lighting and was accepted into the 2021 Progress Report of the IES. Jane Slade is the International Dark-Sky Association’s 2021 Dark Sky Defender for North America, and a Richard Kelly Grant recipient for explorations into the social and emotional impacts of light and lighting, through her work in creating lighting fixtures from waste materials in India, and through art installations focused on manipulating emotional experiences with light and color. She is a member of the IES Outdoor Nighttime Environment (ONE) Committee and a contributor to LD+A on the topic of Wildlife, and is currently writing a book about the natural daylight cycle. In her spare time, she is a yoga teacher.

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