Introduction to Penn State University’s Lighting Lab

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Alp Durmus, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Many in the lighting industry know this department as a top academic lighting program in the US, but fewer know about its lighting lab. My tour of the lab’s capabilities was very interesting, including its 15-channel color-mixing research lights. Also notable was a demonstration of some unpleasant spectrums to be immersed under, which the lab affectionately calls “zombie light.” photo of PSU Lighting Lab

The Lighting Laboratory is focused on research and education on illumination systems, solid-state lighting, and the interaction between humans and the built environments with respect to a wide range of applications on energy consumption, user interaction, and environmental impacts. The lab facilitates cross-disciplinary research to address socioeconomic, sociotechnical, and sociocognitive aspects of illumination design.

The Lighting Laboratory conducts research both in fundamental and applied scientific disciplines. Fundamental research enabled by the lab is aimed at improving the understanding of the human response to visual stimuli, while the applied research will explore novel ways of utilizing this basic knowledge to design, operate, optimize, and maintain lighting systems. Some of the research topics are:

  • Architectural lighting
  • Museum lighting
  • Horticultural lighting
  • Visual perception
  • Applied cognitive neuroscience
  • Color science
  • Light and health

Learn more here.


Image: PSU Department of Architectural Engineering


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