Jessica Morrison began conceptualizing novel micromirror-based lighting architectures while earning a PhD in physics from Boston University. Since graduating in 2016, she has continued to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications NSF Engineering Research Center, focusing on dynamic free-space optical communications using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
Prior to founding Helux in 2016, Morrison received the Boston University Office of Technology Development Ignition Award to begin commercialization of a specially designed micromirror. The technology was featured on the cover of the Boston University College of Engineering Alumni Magazine (BUEng) in the Fall 2015 issue, was selected for presentation at the DOE Solid State Lighting Workshop in 2016, and appeared on the cover of the October 2016 issue of IEEE Control Systems Magazine.
Critical need: Solid state lighting has caused a paradigm shift in the lighting industry. However, the rapid growth of the technology has surpassed our understanding of its effects on human health and productivity, as well as the environment. Developing systems that put light only where it is needed can reduce energy consumption and improve well-being by eliminating glare and wasted light. Full control over where artificial lights shine may also reduce the disruption of natural ecosystems caused by light pollution.
Technology vision: Helux is striving to transform how people think about lighting. From a child’s reading light, to a restaurant promoting their happy hour, to an office trying to be more energy conscious, the ability to quickly and precisely change the character of lighting has limitless potential.
Current state-of-the-art: The most advanced dynamic light fixtures available today are based on mechanical components that are bulky and expensive. The track light is the only inexpensive lighting system that permits redirection and, in some cases, spot size using motorized optical components.
Key innovation: The key technology at Helux is a controllable micromirror that, when combined with state-of-the-art solid state lighting, electronically adjusts light position, brightness, and illumination area. This level of functionality enables user-defined illumination in a low-cost, standard, bulb-sized fixture
Competing technology: The most advanced fixture is composed of a strategically arranged array of LEDs. More recent developments in the research community include dynamic liquid crystal lenses, but these examples do not provide dynamic, simultaneous control over steering and spot size.
First market hypothesis: We are focusing on architectural and artistic lighting scenarios where the ability to control each source will provide significant flexibility in building and room design.
Potential for impact: By reformulating and reducing the footprint of the standard luminaire and by maximizing the utilization of all the light produced in a fixture, we can further reduce energy consumption, promote productivity in the workplace, and potentially improve the overall health and wellbeing of every consumer.
We're looking for:
Joint development partners
Team members - scientist, engineers
Contact: Jessica Morrison (jess [at] heluxtech [dot] com)
Photo by: NASA Earth Observations (NEO)