Janet Hansen artist

About Janet Hansen

Artist's Statement

"Half of what you know today will be obsolete in 5 years. That prospect should fill you with excitement” - Vimala Blavatsky

I am driven by a need for novelty and variety, and when I encounter a new type of textile, light source, or electronic control method, I am eager to experiment, and see what I can do with it. Sometimes I will revisit older designs, and create updated versions using things that were not available the first time around.

I am also driven by curiosity, and by my desire to see if the shapes and color patterns I imagine can be made into physical objects. I enjoy working with unexpected combinations of materials, using sewing, soldering, painting, and a variety of other techniques. By adding electric illumination to this mix, I can create pieces with colorful patterns that move and change over time, outside of the usual behavior of static surfaces and shapes.


Janet Hansen creates illuminated mixed-media art, using LEDs with custom electronic controls and a variety of structural and diffusing materials. Formats include wall hangings and soft sculptures, as well as larger installations that allow the viewer to be fully immersed in the emitted light field. These designs often incorporate geometric patterns and other mathematical phenomena, and feature bright color combinations, including rainbows.

The LEDs display animated effects that encourage prolonged engagement, and may assist in visual meditation practice. Some modes are intended to be soothing and calming, with gradual transitions in brightness and color. Other effects are more dramatic or energetic, with pulses that move in response to ambient sounds or music.

Janet’s work reflects her life-long interest in merging art with technology. While pursuing a BS in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College, she minored in Art and started creating a series of abstract geometric paintings with a hard-edge colorist technique. She went on to earn a PhD in Bioengineering at UC San Diego, and spent several years working in the aerospace industry. Some of her paintings from that time period are derived from her experience with computational meshes and finite element models.

In the late 1990s, Janet began to combine electronics with her costume-making hobby, and discovered her passion for wearable technology. She founded a lighted clothing company, Enlighted Designs Inc., and became a specialist in fabric-mounted lighting with miniature controls. Over the past 20+ years she has developed the custom hardware, software, and installation techniques that she uses for mixed-media fine art as well as for clothing, costumes, accessories, and stage props. The wearable forms of her work are used by a diverse collection of international clients, including professional musicians, dancers, Broadway shows, and theme parks.


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Enlighted Designs, Inc • Encinitas, CA • January 2000 - present
Owner, CEO, Fashion Engineer, LED Artist
· Designer and creator of illuminated clothing and mixed-media fine art with integrated electronic lights
· Wearable technology consultant
· Corporate clients include Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Royal Caribbean, Sea World, Nike, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret

Structural Dynamics Research Corporation, Advanced Test & Analysis • San Diego, CA • 1995 - 2000
Project Engineer
· Structural analyst specializing in static, dynamic, and thermal simulations of aerospace and industrial structures


University of California San Diego • San Diego, CA • 1990 - 1996
MS, PhD, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science/ Bioengineering
· Ph.D. dissertation entitled “An Elastic Network Model of the Red Blood Cell Membrane Skeleton”

Harvey Mudd College • Claremont, CA • 1986 - 1990
BS, Engineering
· Graduated with High Distinction and Honors in Engineering
· Minored in Art, coursework included classes at Scripps College and Pomona College


William D. Cannon Art Gallery 2019 Juried Biennial • Carlsbad, CA • Dec 2018 – Jan 2019
“Enlighted Comforter”
·  Illuminated white faux fur panel with animated RGB LEDs, selected for group exhibit
·  Jurors Robert L. Pincus of the San Diego Union Tribune, and Maria Mingalone of the Oceanside Museum of Art

Country Music Hall of Fame • Nashville, TN • July 2019 – June 2020
“All of the Colors”
·  Exhibit honoring Kacey Musgraves, including LED boots and coat worn at the 2014 Grammy Awards

Experimental Realities: an Exhibition of Interactive, Responsive, Projected, and Animated Art •  Los Angeles, CA  • June 2017
Art show at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
·  Group show included LED hat, LED tie, and first public showing of the Enlighted Comforter

Grammy Museum • Los Angeles, CA • 2009 - ongoing
Daft Punk’s Illuminated Robot Suits
·  Iconic suits from the band’s Alive 2007 tour, and their live performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards

The First International Exhibition of Voronoi Art • Seoul, Korea • 2005
Collection of artworks based on the concept of the Voronoi diagram
·  Included right panel of Delaunay Triptych from 1997

Light Messages Collaboration with Ingo Maurer  • Milan, Frankfurt, & NYC • April – May 2002
·  Performance art pieces created with world-renowned German lighting designer Ingo Maurer
·  Featured clothing with scrolling text and graphics, with thousands of LEDs per outfit


Be More Chill • Broadway’s Lyceum Theater • New York, NY • 2019
LED costume lighting with wireless control

Cowboys Christmas Spectacular • Dallas, TX • 2018 - ongoing
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wearing 22 sets of LED jackets and belts at their holiday show

Cats • Broadway revival and tour • 2016 - ongoing
LED costume lighting for Mr. Mistoffelees and Cassandra 

New York Knicks City Dancers • New York, NY • 2015
Set of 16 LED bodysuits worn for player introductions at home games

56th Annual Grammy Awards • Los Angeles, CA • February 2014
Kacey Musgraves performing in LED boots, with band dressed in LED jackets

Gypsy • Signature Theatre revival • Arlington, VA • Dec 2013 – Jan 2014
LED costume lighting for Electra

America’s Got Talent • Radio City Music Hall • New York, NY • aired in September 2013
Debut performance with LED jackets from The Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular

Britney Spears: Femme Fatale • World tour • 2011
Finale dress with animated RGB LED pxiels, LED harnesses for backup dancers

Muse: Resistance • World tour • 2010
Lead singer Matthew Bellamy performing in an LED suit

Home and Home Tour • Detroit, MI and New York, NY • September 2010
50 Cent and his G-Unit crew performed in a variety of LED and EL wire costumes

MTV Movie Awards • June 2010
Katy Perry performing in LED shorts, bikini top, and sunglasses
Christina Aguilera performing in LED cape, gloves, and bodysuit

Coachella Music Festival • Indio, CA • April 2009
MIA and backup dancers performing in costumes with full-body EL wire outlines

50th Annual Grammy Awards • Los Angeles, CA • February 2008
Daft Punk performing in their signature robot costumes outlined in EL wire

Daft Punk: Alive 2007 • World tour • 2007
Daft Punk performing in robot suits with red EL wire outlines, atop the pyramid in their encore

Hot Feet • Broadway’s Hilton Theatre • New York, NY • Apr 2006 – July 2006
Lighted shoes and cape for dance musical set to the sounds of Earth, Wind, & Fire

Comic-Con Masquerade • San Diego, CA • 2001
“Illuminated Nervous System” awarded Best in Show, and the Barry Brown and Dawn Divine-Brown Ibexa Press Technology Prize

The Body Electric • Beverly Hilton Hotel • Beverly Hills, CA • February 1998
“Dudes in Tubes” performance art piece, part of a wearable technology fashion show


Costume-Con 36 • San Diego, CA • May 2018
Invited speaker on topic of lighted costumes

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) • San Diego, CA, August 2014 • Los Angeles, CA, February 2015
Featured guest speaker, 5th Annual Innovative Materials Conference

Smart Fabrics and Wearable Tech Conference • San Francisco, CA • April 2014
“Smart RGB LED Pixel Systems for Wearable Applications”

Init(together) Conference for Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) • Irvine, CA • April 2013
“Crafting Wearable Technology”

SXSW Interactive • Austin, TX • May 2012
“Technology and Fashion”

Smart Fabrics Conference • Miami, FL • April 2010
“Wearable Electronics for Illuminated Costumes and Clothing”

Intertech’s LEDs 2004 Conference • San Diego, CA • October 2004
“Wardrobe Malfunctions and Other Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of Illuminated Clothing Technology”


Multi-purpose illumination device adaptable for use as a button fastener. US Patent #6474830, issued Nov 5, 2000

M. Baker, J.C. Hansen, and F.M. Payne. Impact of Dynamics on the Design of the RL10B-2 Extendible Carbon-Carbon Exit Cone. AIAA 98:2013, 39th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference.

J.C. Hansen, R. Skalak, S. Chien, and A. Hoger. An elastic network model based on the structure of the red blood cell membrane skeleton. Biophys. J. 1996 70:146-166.