Quantifying light exposure patterns in young adult students

J Mod Opt. 2013 Oct 1;60(14):1200-1208. doi: 10.1080/09500340.2013.845700.


Exposure to bright light appears to be protective against myopia in both animals (chicks, monkeys) and children, but quantitative data on human light exposure are limited. In this study, we report on a technique for quantifying light exposure using wearable sensors. Twenty-seven young adult subjects wore a light sensor continuously for two weeks during one of three seasons, and also completed questionnaires about their visual activities. Light data were analyzed with respect to refractive error and season, and the objective sensor data were compared with subjects' estimates of time spent indoors and outdoors. Subjects' estimates of time spent indoors and outdoors were in poor agreement with durations reported by the sensor data. The results of questionnaire-based studies of light exposure should thus be interpreted with caution. The role of light in refractive error development should be investigated using multiple methods such as sensors to complement questionnaires.

Keywords: light intensity; light sensor; myopia; outdoor exposure; photometry; sunlight.