Lighting Science Group (LSG) and Nasa’s John F Kennedy Space Center will jointly develop a high-illumination and good colour-rendering LED light fixture for space exploration.

Under the two-year agreement, LSG will develop a lighting fixture prototype to meet the unique demands of space equipment and space travel including control, vibration, off-gassing, electromagnetic interference and other spacecraft issues.

LEDs with a life of up to 50,000 hours will not require frequent maintenance and can be easily controlled, providing dimmability and constant colour temperature throughout the dimming range.

John F Kennedy Space Center official Daniel C Shultz said LED lighting was a perfect solution for space exploration because of its ability to function in extreme temperatures and its bright white and variable light.

“Any multipurpose light source used on spacecraft will also need to exhibit long life and excellent colour rendering – important for astronauts’ ability to see and to be aware of unknown surroundings,” he said.

Lighting Science chief scientist Fred Maxik said the Lighting Science-Nasa agreement also gives them an opportunity to explore LED lighting’s impact on human factors management, so important to space travellers who spend long periods of time away from the normal rhythms of Earth time.