Cottage Grove’s Midwest Lighting Institute is exploring how varying the type of lighting in different facilities can affect human behavior, health and productivity while driving down energy costs.

“Lighting has been a field that most people, quite frankly, haven’t thought a whole lot about,” said Tamara Sondgeroth, president and executive director of MLI. “I mean, as long as you can see to complete whatever task it is you need to do, that’s about as far as most people have thought about lighting.”

Not so for Sondgeroth, who worked as director of energy portfolios and director of operations for Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program from 2012 through 2015.

Now, she is working to foster understanding of how specialized energy-efficient lighting can have objective, measurable effects on people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

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