In her ongoing work in healthcare design, Jane Rohde is keeping an eye on students whose work and studies are making an impact in the field. Read on to learn more about this month’s featured student designer.

Laura Maher

MS in in Healthcare Interior Design (December 2016)
Stephen F. Austin State University

Project Description
Maher is working on a research project called, “The Effect of LED Lamp Color Temperature and Luminance on the Written Task Performance of older Adults.” With all of the fast-paced changes in lighting technology, her research is an important part of understanding if LED lamps can positively affect the visual acuity of older adults, supporting as much independence as possible. The goal of her work is to determine the color temperature and illuminance level of LED lamps that will be best suited for completion of written tasks. No matter what setting an elder is living in, appropriate light levels are directly tied to quality of life.

Maher has devised a portable light box similar to that used by O’Conner and Davis (2005) in their study and started testing with elders in October 2016. Measurements were taken with the CL-500A Illuminance Spectrophotometer. LED lighting as an enhancement to natural lighting in senior living settings is hoped to be not only decorative, but to also increase functionality. Tunable LEDs allow for control of light quality, color, and quantity. Maher’s research project is focused on how LED lamps affect the aging eye, as well as color temperature in relationship to effectiveness of LED lighting solutions for elders.

Experimental light box devices.

AuthorJane Rohde