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Research into the impacts of light on human activity is central to the CLTC. As an installment of our series of conversations with leaders in innovation and sustainability, SwiftEnvirons met with Michael Siminovitch of the California Lighting Technology Center to learn more about the research laboratiory


The following is a snapshot of Professor Siminovitch’s conversation regarding leadership, innovation and sustainability. The CLTC operates in a unique position of collaboration between research, industry and regulatory. While they have brought substantial improvements to lighting design, the goal is applied research to bring those advancements to the market. Michael is now moving to newer frontiers focused on improvement of the human condition by better use of the spectrum of light – bringing light to the conversation.

Collaboration between research at the CLTC and industry partners is essential to the success of bringing innovation to the market.

Leading partnerships and innovation at CLTC means exporting their technologies and tools to other institutions. Spreading success is a part of the CLTC culture.

Circadian light is a new frontier as CLTC partners with other researchers and industry to develop results that lead to improved human conditions.

SwiftEnvirons: Tell us about how you see Innovation?

Michael: At CLTC We work to take innovation from LAB TO MARKETPLACE right now. The difficulty in research can be how to connect to the practice. That is not for CLTC – we connect research to practice. We have a unique opportunity to connect with industry and professional partners – we are catalytic agents of change.

We start with a demonstration of the science. From there, we follow through with education into regulatory and engineering.

SwiftEnvirons: what is your perspective of sustainability?

Michael: CLTC is in the middle layer translating GHG goals. Years ago, we worked with the governor’s Green Action Team, which unfortunately had precious little green and precious little action.  We have made great strides but

There is a long way to go.

We are starting to learn that we can change light to have light that meets circadian lighting. Daily, reset the circadian clock. Moving from secret sauce to common sense. We are rethinking lighting – rely on partners in research and multiple industries to improve the human condition

We can use spectral distribution wisely

SwiftEnvirons: What is your perspective on Leadership:

Michael: The centroid is education. But there are daunting educational barriers at all elements. Not just students – practitioners, regulatory bodies, legislative, the whole food chain.

Educational barriers can be staggering

Portions of this conversation were originally presented at the Global Symposium on Leadership and Project Management in August 2023. A special thanks goes to Les Stein and Jacques Alexis at Northeastern University.