P. Daniel Dapkus
P. Daniel Dapkus serves as director of The Photonics Center and professor in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California. See how NSF has supported his research. Image credit: P. Daniel Dapkus
Do You See What I See?
Changes in lighting affect the way we perceive the world around us. NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has built a "Vision Lab" to scientifically test how different light sources are perceived by people. One of their special interests is LED lighting--particularly important because LEDs' great energy-saving possibilities won't be realized if they aren't liked and adopted by users.
What Consumers Want
To test consumers' taste in lighting in a realistic setting, researchers at Oklahoma State University equipped rooms in actual houses with incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs. Students were essential too, "gridding" each of the rooms as to their light level, and educating study participants about the costs and benefits of each lighting type.
Light's Give and Take
Since 2009, P. Daniel Dapkus has been leading a project on both solar cells and LED lighting at the University of Southern California. The connection between the two? Harnessing light and emitting it are similar processes in different directions. The researchers' goal is to make solar cells as cheap as coal-powered electricity.