Light BYTES: May 2017

Time for a Change

With Lumencor’s SPECTRA, SPECTRA X or AURA light engines installed on your microscope, the time for a change can be very short indeed — less than one millisecond.

Fast switching between color channels is a key requirement for applications such as multicolor fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics and “virtual color” transmitted light imaging (superimposed red, green and blue images taken with a monochrome camera).  Switching via serial commands is limited to around 50 ms by factors including the host computer operating system, processor speed and serial port baud rate. Faster switching requires TTL hardware control.

In the example shown here, the cyan (485/25 nm) and green (560/32 nm) channels of an AURA light engine are triggered by TTL signals from two synchronized pulse generators. The resulting light output is detected by a photodiode connected to a digital oscilloscope. In a typical optogenetics application, the alternating cyan (~0.5 ms) and green (~3 ms) output pulses would be directed through an optical fiber for cyclical activation and inhibition of neurons expressing channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR).

Click Here to find many more fast switching applications of Lumencor light engines.

Download the PDF of Light BYTES: May 2017

Lumencor Joins Forces With the Portland Backpack Lunch Program

Lumencor volunteers with the Portland Backpack Lunch Program.
Lumencor volunteers with the Portland Backpack Lunch Program.


The Portland Backpack Lunch Program is a local non-profit organization that provides weekend meals to students in need. These children rely on federally-funded school lunches during the week and often go hungry on the weekends. Since its inception in 2008, the Portland Backpack Lunch Program has provided over 95,000 meals every Friday to low-income students.

Lumencor is excited to partner with the Portland Backpack Lunch Program once again in 2017. On April 21st, our entire team got together and packed 650 lunches and 650 breakfasts. We wrote notes of encouragement for the students as well. We are proud to give back to the community through a program that not only provides food to children in need, but also fosters an environment of caring and connected individuals.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to this worthy cause, find the Portland Backpack Lunch Program on Facebook for more information, or give them a call at 503.284.4647. The Portland Backpack Lunch Program primarily serves Northeast Portland students in the Tina Clegg Head Start, Woodlawn, King, and Scott schools.

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