Event Title

Approximation of Lake Michigan Light Field with Various Light Sources

Presenter Information

Liam Brodie

Mentor 1

Russell Cuhel

Mentor 2

Carmen Aguilar

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Light is the driving factor of photosynthesis, giving energy to primary producers that in turn feed an ecosystem. Under optimum conditions determined through evolution, primary producers will grow faster. To determine how algae affect water chemistry, sampled algae must be incubated under conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible. To achieve as close to natural light conditions, multiple types of light are used in lab. First, a light table with LED strip bulbs and an adjustable power output was built. Light Emitting Diode bulbs work by passing electrons through a semiconductor. Despite having a high initial price, advantages to LED bulbs include run cost, ability to have set wavelengths, and dimming capabilities. The table allows for a timed day/night cycle with intensities that resemble the light cycle of Fox Point, the most observed fixed point of the Cuhel and Aguilar labs. One prevalent observation was the reduction in intensity for the strip LEDs in series. Bulbs closest to the power source had the highest intensity. While the six rows did show linear, similar values for the same row, full rows had noticeably different range intensities as a result of distance from the power source. Second, metal halide bulbs measured in a large wheel photosynthetron were used to simulate depth. Metal halide lamps emit massive amounts of light relative to energy, and are often used for outdoor blanket lighting. While these lamps are efficient, the color range is limited and may shift from lamp to lamp. Lastly, mercury fluorescent bulbs were stacked vertically to create a light wall. While fluorescence is efficient, the bulbs can be more expensive, produce only white light, and have no dimmer capability. In attempting to reproduce Lake Michigan’s light field, multiple types of bulbs were needed, each with advantages and disadvantages.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Approximation of Lake Michigan Light Field with Various Light Sources

Union Wisconsin Room

Light is the driving factor of photosynthesis, giving energy to primary producers that in turn feed an ecosystem. Under optimum conditions determined through evolution, primary producers will grow faster. To determine how algae affect water chemistry, sampled algae must be incubated under conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible. To achieve as close to natural light conditions, multiple types of light are used in lab. First, a light table with LED strip bulbs and an adjustable power output was built. Light Emitting Diode bulbs work by passing electrons through a semiconductor. Despite having a high initial price, advantages to LED bulbs include run cost, ability to have set wavelengths, and dimming capabilities. The table allows for a timed day/night cycle with intensities that resemble the light cycle of Fox Point, the most observed fixed point of the Cuhel and Aguilar labs. One prevalent observation was the reduction in intensity for the strip LEDs in series. Bulbs closest to the power source had the highest intensity. While the six rows did show linear, similar values for the same row, full rows had noticeably different range intensities as a result of distance from the power source. Second, metal halide bulbs measured in a large wheel photosynthetron were used to simulate depth. Metal halide lamps emit massive amounts of light relative to energy, and are often used for outdoor blanket lighting. While these lamps are efficient, the color range is limited and may shift from lamp to lamp. Lastly, mercury fluorescent bulbs were stacked vertically to create a light wall. While fluorescence is efficient, the bulbs can be more expensive, produce only white light, and have no dimmer capability. In attempting to reproduce Lake Michigan’s light field, multiple types of bulbs were needed, each with advantages and disadvantages.