March 17, 2015
In Drexel’s dLUX Light Laboratory, students and faculty from a variety of disciplines investigate energy conservation and how lighting in the built environment affects health and well-being. The Lab partners with organizations that serve vulnerable populations—including adult homeless men, children with autism, and older adults with dementia—to research and develop LED lighting systems that improve health outcomes. dLUX is currently seeking inquisitive Westphal students who are interested joining the Lab to help make the world a better place through creative strategies of improving the built environment. Led by Dr. Eugenia Victoria Ellis, a Professor in the Department of Architecture & Interiors and in the College of Engineering, the Lab conducts research that ranges from the environmental to the behavioral. Westphal students from any major who are passionate about energy conservation, the built environment, and health and wellbeing can join dLUX—no previous experience or specific skillsets are required.
Research shows that the flicker of electric light can have detrimental effects, while natural sunlight, which can be simulated with LED lighting technologies, promotes positive health outcomes through its effect on the body’s circadian rhythms. At Project HOME’s St. Columba safe-haven residence for men, dLUX is installing a solar day-mimicking LED lighting system that regulates circadian rhythms and which dims to a red spectrum at night, preventing disrupted sleep patterns and thereby contributing to the residents’ overall health. In another project that brings together design and public health, a partnership with the local nonprofit Jayden’s Voice has resulted in the development of a state-of-the-art multi-use clinical, treatment, and resource facility to serve individuals and families impacted by autism.
The Lab has also recently partnered with the San Diego architecture firm The Miller Hull Partnership to develop the Lemur building for “Africa Rocks,” the largest single-phase construction project that the San Diego Zoo has ever undertaken. dLUX is employing innovative LED controls systems technology for a lighting biome that will simulate the lemurs’ natural Madagascar habitat.
Students interested in more information about joining can email firstname.lastname@example.org.