Monthly Archives: January 2013

Flickering lights to guide you indoors

Information flicks onto an iPad screen of its own accord as I walk through a technology exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science. Extra details about rovers and planetary exploration pop up as I sidle over to the Mars Yard, and are replaced as I make just a small step to the right.

I’m experiencing ByteLight, a new type of location technology which uses LED bulbs to deliver exact location information indoors. It’s accurate to within a metre, whereas Wi-Fi triangulation can only place you within a spherical bubble several metres in diameter (meaning it might not even know which floor you’re on), and works in places where GPS signals can’t go. Each bulb flashes in a unique pattern that humans don’t see but which identifies the bulb’s location via a smartphone or tablet camera. Software then works out where you are by knowing which bulb you are standing closest to.

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Source: New Scientist

Written by: Hal Hodson

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer uses LEDs to create ‘sun’

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has created an installation with 60,000 LEDs that mimics the surface of the sun. His artwork Flatsun is one billion times smaller than the sun and imitates the solar flares and turbulance on the planet’s surface with red and yellow LEDs. Flatsun is a large circular panel, measuring 4.5 feet in diameter, with an interactive display that responds to the amount of movement around it. Flatsun’s ‘solar flares’ become more turbulant when there are many people near the artwork but with fewer people nearby, the installation’s flares die down and can switch off completely. The artist used mathematical equations to try to replicate the surface of the sun. Flatsun has a built-in computer, a pinhole lens camera and an aluminium, steel and glass structure. The Mexican-Canadian artist’s work was exhibited at New York’s Bitforms gallery last autumn.

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Written by: Rebecca Shahoud

Source: Lighting.UK

Light Art: Iceberg in Montreal by Atomic3

Iceberg, created by ATOMIC3, is an interactive, architectural, light and sound installation that brings winter right into the heart of the city. This immersive work invites visitors to enter, listen, and play this giant organ, where notes and light travel up and down musical passageways.

From north to south, from the Place des Festivals to the Place des Arts esplanade, the installation follows the journey of an iceberg, from its birth in Arctic waters to its melting off the southern coast. It features four “skeletons” representing the Iceberg at four different stages in its life. Four life stages: four different shapes and sizes, four illuminated spaces, and above all, four distinct soundscapes.

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Written by Levent Ozler


Luci – An Inflatable Solar Powered Lantern To Power the Developing World

Developed in America by MPOWERD, ‘luci’, the inflatable solar powered lantern was conceived to empower the developing world, providing greater equity to those without access to electricity. Weighing only 3.8 ounces, luci incorporates the functions of a task light, flash light and diffused lantern and is equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery – most importantly, it retains its charge for up to three months.

Shown at the 2013 CES in Las Vegas, the lamp was designed to be lightweight and collapsible for travel, becoming durable and reliable in the most extreme weather conditions and can easily be attached to a wall or ceiling. Independent from the power grid, the lantern is ideal for situations where light is inaccessible or unaffordable, making it a clean, low-cost, sustainable energy provider.

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Source: Design Boom

Researchers Reverse Engineer Fireflies To Make More Efficient LEDs

Sometimes, a trick gets pulled off better in nature than it does in a laboratory. That might be the case with new research claiming fireflies’ unique lanterns can be reverse-engineered for LED lights, making the bulbs as much as 55 percent more efficient.

We’ve seen scientists get the idea to mimic the insect’s chemical reaction, but this project deals with their also-impressive structure. This is how the researchers–a team from Belgium, France, and Canada–explained the process in a statement:

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Written by: Colin Lecher

Source: Popular Science

The World’s Largest Light Art Piece Used a ‘Lot of Torches’: See How It Was Made

In October 2012, Michael Bosanko, a light graffiti artist, made what is said to be the largest light art piece ever created.

This sort of artwork uses a single camera exposure, hundreds of lights and unedited photography. So what would it take to make the largest piece ever? As Bosanko explained in a video recently released detailing how it was done, it took a 35,000-square-foot airplane hanger in the U.K. and “a lot of torches.”

It was also the longest exposure he had done on camera. Ultimately, the camera was left to expose for more than an hour, and it took two attempts to achieve the result he wanted.

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Written by: Liz Klimas

Source: The Blaze

Lausanne’s Light Art Installations

What better way to say hello to the New Year than taking in the city lights! And while most places are adorned with shiny bling during winter holidays, this year Lausanne takes it to a whole new level with its first Festival of Lights. Going on through the month of December to January 2nd, the event sprinkles the city with unique art installations selected through competition. These interventions literally show the city in a new light by turning hidden or unexpected corners into perfect spots for lifting a glass of champagne.

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Source: Architizer

Written by: Sylvia Gugu

OLED Technology and What it Means for the Future of Lighting

Glowing walls, windows and furniture will replace light bulbs and LEDs in homes as OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology improves, according to Dietmar Thomas of Philips Lumiblade (+ movie).

“Just imagine windows where transparent OLEDs are integrated,” says Thomas. “During the day the sun shines into the room and at night you’re not switching on the ceiling lamp or the wall lamp, you’re switching on the window.”

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Source: Dezeen/Philips

Written by: Dan Howarth

James Turrell’s latest “skyspace” bedazzles with radiating displays of color at dawn and dusk

Throughout his long career, artist James Turrell has explored light both as a medium and as a metaphor for personal introspection. All of his work extends an invitation to greet the light—an approach inspired by his Quaker grandmother who taught him the importance of seeking one’s own inner light to understand one’s place in the larger world.

Turrell’s artistic explorations have led him to create his signature work, what he calls “sky-spaces.” These intimately scaled enclosures invite his audience to view the sky through an opening in the roof while programmed lighting subtly washes the interior’s white surfaces with a slowly unfolding cycle of colors. At dawn and dusk, as the celestial dome brightens or darkens, the changing light gradually alters the viewer’s perception of the patch of sky floating above; and juxtaposed with the two-dimensional ceiling plane, the sky’s infinite depth appears to flatten and its color modulates in complement to the chromatic sequence. Each viewer’s experience is unique, requiring patience and a willingness to concentrate on the space and on the light. In fact, to fully appreciate the experience of a skyspace, one must take an active role and become fully immersed in the art. The popularity of Turrell’s creation has led to scores of commissions—from both public institutions and private clients—to design and build site-specific skyspaces around the world.

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Source: Architectural Lighting

Written by: Stephen Sharpe