Tag Archives: Nature

Symbolism of Light

Apart from the philosophical connotations that light posses, it also is utilized throughout many cultures around the world as both a literal and metaphorical symbol. The Yin and Yang is one of the best examples of this concept as discussed previously, but there are many others as well. When different world religions are analyzed from a lighting perspective, it can be seen that different cultures and religions view light through its symbolic nature. Several global holidays use the symbolism of light as a marking of celebration. Following are some holidays which use light for its symbolism.

In Buddhism light is used as a symbol in the ritual of the eight offerings where it plays a central role. Apart from Buddhism, Islam also uses light as a symbol, most visually through its interpretation of ‘the lamp’ in the Qur’an;

“God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp
the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star
Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the West,
whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it
Light upon Light! God doth guide whom He will to His Light
God doth set forth Parables for men: and God doth know all things.”

Another symbol commonly used if the candlelight as a symbol of wisdom. In our physical world we see things through the medium of light. If we do not have sun or electric light, this world is so dark that we cannot see anything. In our spiritual and mental world the physical light cannot help us to see. We see only through wisdom. We may stumble many times in daily life because we lack ‘light’ and ‘wisdom’. Light in this sense can also be translated into a more eastern sensibility through the term ‘enlightenment’. Jung writes in the foreword to An Introduction to Japanese Buddhism;

“This strange perception is called Satori, and may be translated as “Enlightenment”. Suzuki says (see page 95), “Satori is the raison d’etre of Zen, and without it there is no Zen.” It should not be too difficult for the Western mind to grasp what a mystic understands by “enlightenment”, or what is known as “enlightenment” in religious parlance.”


• When different world religions are analyzed from a lighting perspective, different cultures and religions view light for its symbolic nature. Several of the global holidays use the symbolism of light celebration. In the images that will be shared in the talk, the following are the different holidays which use light for its symbolism.

Symbols of Light:

• Obon Festival [Japan]

• Hanukkah

• Loy Krathong [Thailand]

• Diwali

• Paper Lantern Festival [Singapore]

• Christmas

• Ramadan

• Cathedral of Light 1936

• Tribute in Light, New York

• Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong

• SRBS Bridge, Dubai

A Bright Idea! Genetically Engineered Plant Glows like a Lamp

Many people set the mood for a romantic night in with candles, but now they could use a genetically engineered glowing plant for a date with a difference. A light-producing plant called Starlight Avatar that glows like a firefly has been created by U.S. scientists. Bioengineers spliced genes from bioluminescent bacteria with a pot plant to create the plant, which can be used as a lamp in the dark.


The phenomenon of living organisms glowing in the nature is called bioluminescence. There are over twenty independently evolved bioluminescent mechanisms found in nature as seen in glow worms, bobtail squids, deep-sea anglerfish and bacteria.

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Written By: Sarah Griffiths

Source: Daily Mail

Vana: A Nature-Inspired Structure that Grows Like a Tree

From the architect. Orproject, a London-based architecture practice, completed a room-sized, nature-inspired canopy titled, ‘Vana,’ for the India Design Forum exhibited in The Brick House in New Delhi.

From the Architect: “Orproject developed a series of algorithms that digitally generate open and closed venation patterns, which can be used to simulate the growth of topiaries. The systems consist of a set of seed points that grow and branch towards target points in order to maximize exposure to light for each leaf. The resulting geometries fulfill these requirements and provide a suitable structural and circulatory system for the plant.”

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Source: ArchDaily

Saving the Night: Light Pollution a Serious Concern for Human Health and Wildlife

Have you ever wondered why our galaxy is called the Milky Way?

Thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks looked up at the mass of stars that stretched across our sky and, believing it looked like flowing milk across the darkness, called it galaxies kuklos, meaning the “milky circle.” Later the Romans called it via lactea, meaning the “milky road.”

However, look up on a given night and, if you’re like two-thirds of the population, you’ll wonder just what it was those Greeks and Romans were looking at.

The reason we don’t see the stars is due to light pollution. And you have Thomas Edison and his popularization of the handy electric light bulb to thank for that.

The light bulb has not only led to longer working hours, but also has changed the black sky of night to one with a dull orange glow, devoid of stars.

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Written by: Nicole Mortillaro

Source: Global News