Ocular light exposure has important influences on human health and well-being through modulation of circadian rhythms and sleep, as well as neuroendocrine and cognitive functions. Current patterns of light exposure do not optimally engage these actions for many individuals, but advances in our understanding of the underpinning mechanisms and emerging lighting technologies now present opportunities to adjust lighting to promote optimal physical and mental health and performance. A newly developed, SI-compliant standard provides a way of quantifying the influence of light on the intrinsically photosensitive, melanopsin-expressing, retinal neurons that mediate these effects. The present report provides recommendations for lighting, based on an expert-scientific consensus and expressed according to this new measurement standard. These recommendations are supported by a comprehensive analysis of the sensitivity of human ‘non-visual’ responses to ocular light, are centred on an easily measured quantity (melanopic equivalent daylight (D65) illuminance), and provide a straightforward framework to inform lighting design and practice.