Allumen: Bioluminescent algae


Allumen tested prototypes for an iconic interactive product with bioluminescent algae in DTU Smart Library from 07/05 to 14/05 2018. In collaboration with DTU Smart Campus, we built a box from metal tubes that we completely darkened with black fabric. This created the perfect showroom for our bioluminescent algae that only emits blue light in the dark when they are shaken. The algae harvest energy from sunlight, and when it gets dark, they can use energy to produce blue light when shaken. We tested different designs for our first product for consumers. The idea of the product is to create an iconic designed container with bioluminescent algae that people who are interested in sustainability, science and nature can have in their own living room. Thereby, our customers can grow their own bioluminescent algae and observe the fascinating natural phenomenon. The future dream is to create a sustainable and natural light source that can replace conventional electricity consuming light sources in cities around the world. But before this is a possibility, Allumen is concentrated on fascinating people by showing them the true powers of nature’s own light source; bioluminescence. Allumen is currently working on an educational kit for teachers to use for educational purposes in high schools and gymnasiums and an interactive design object that people can have at home to experience the wonders of nature every night when the algae emit blue light. Please follow Allumen if you are interested in sustainable light from nature;   


We generated two kinds of data when testing prototypes in DTU Smart Library. First, we asked the visitors that tested our prototypes to fill out a questionnaire about their experience that will help us in development of future products. Second, DTU Smart Library shared the data from their cameras with us, revealing how many visitors our dark box with prototypes had during the week and how long they were visiting our exhibition.

Tips and tricks for other projects

This is a great opportunity to test your prototypes with all the help, facilities and funding you need as a start-up. Don’t be afraid to reach out to top professors, big shots in the industry or someone from DTU’s administration; most people will gladly help you in your quest to make a sustainable start-up.


Visit Allumen’s website: or

Or contact Smart Campus to hear more.