“Travel the World in Search of Lighting Inspiration”

Philips has launched an incredible competition in the name of lighting inspiration.  They are searching for one person with enough passion for lighting to travel the world for three months.  Along the way, that individual will share inspirational lighting installations & designs through photographs, videos, and blog posts.

It’s called the Light World Tour.  The sign up and voting period started June 1 and goes through August 8.  You can see the Top 10 Entrants so far at www.lightworldtour.com.

If your dream job is to travel the world in search of lighting inspiration, by all means, enter the competition!  All you have to do is write about experiences that qualify you and what your ideas are for the tour.

Also, vote for your favorite entrant using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

I know I am very excited to follow the winner’s blog in September – what an amazing opportunity!

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Photosynthesis Lamp

This lamp from product designer Meirav Peled Barzilay creates a natural growing lampshade.  The hanging metal grid only requires a light bulb and the vine of your choice.  Over time, the plant is meant to “fill in” the grid, forming an incredibly unique lampshade that blends outdoor aesthetic with indoor design.

The product is called the Photosynthesis Lamp.  There are other versions available with the same idea.

Designers, what do you think: Would you use something like this?

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How to Capitalize on Sunlight

Sunlight is the most natural way to light a space, and every lighting designer knows that it’s an important component to consider before planning a project.  Knowing where the afternoon rays come in, or which window dawn streams in first, can help a designer understand where to fill in the gaps.  It’s still important to create “layers of light” throughout an entire space, but capitalizing on sunlight as much as possible is a core rule in lighting design.

With Paint …

If you paint in lighter colors (think white, soft yellow, and beige), the sun will reflect off the walls more easily and bounce light further into your home.  Also, choose a glossy paint finish to enhance those light reflections.  Eggshell is an excellent option.  It has a low sheen that looks great on walls, and it will also hold up better than a flat finish. (more…)

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Light Art

Artist Leo Villareal creates light sculptures and site installations that form dazzling displays across the world.  Shown below: Diagonal Grid, A site-specific installation at a music house in Istanbul, Turkey and Multiverse, A permanent installation in Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art.

Villareal designs software to control the lights. Sequences of imagery and changes in intensity create captivating works of art. As Villareal explains, “These are devices that can take you places with a group of people in an open-ended way.”

I was reading about this artist this morning and came across a charming fact. Villareal designed an installation for his own New York West SoHo loft. It’s a night light for his six-year-old son in the form of a floor-to-ceiling sculpture. Or, as his son calls it, “one of Daddy’s blinkies.”

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Wedding Lighting Design: Worth Every Penny?

A New York Times article recently described a trend in wedding planning involving a focus on lighting design.  The couple featured in the article hired a lighting company to project a personalized “logo” onto the dance floor and onto the bride’s gown during the reception.

There’s certainly no question that wedding budgets can range from shoestring to extravagant.  The most expensive wedding to date cost $60 million, according to Forbes Magazine.  It was the union of Vanisha Mittal (daughter of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal) and investment banker Amit Bhatia back in 2004.  Just to give you an idea: The six-day celebration was held on a 17th-century French chateau, invitations were sent out in a 20 page book made of silver, and the wine tab came out to $1.5 million.

Now, back to lighting design.  Do you think it deserves a prominent place in the average wedding budget (which was approximately $24,070 in 2010)?


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Rethinking Lighting Design

An “LED constellation chandelier”. Image via Inhabitat.

Lighting designer James Bedell wrote an insightful blog post last weekend that I wanted to share here. His point was that the discussion around LEDs today seems to be all centered around the “science” of the source rather than the “art” of it.

It’s probably true.  With the upcoming legislation changes mandating new lighting efficiency standards, it’s easy to focus on how LEDs can replace incandescent bulbs and fail to mention the other implications of this amazing technology.

LEDs are incredible because they do not require you to light up a room using a bulb: With LEDs, lighting can take all sorts of shapes and sizes. We no longer need to conform light fixtures to accommodate a bulky bulb, and that opens up the window to endless design possibilities.  I talked a little about this in my post IKEA & the End of the Incandescent Light Bulb.

Sure, LEDs are available in the shape of traditional bulbs. This is simply to ease the transition into more energy-efficient lighting, and to provide products to fit into the fixtures we already have.

Let’s start thinking about lighting as art again… we have a tremendous opportunity. James Bedell

This is an exciting time for the lighting industry. In the next decade, the way we light our homes and businesses is likely to change drastically.  Let’s see where LEDs take us!

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Brought To You By LED Lighting

This “Turning Torso” building in Sweden is the European Union’s tallest residential apartment building.  Its unique architecture features curving corridors inside the building and an equally distinctive exterior design.

What’s really impressive about this building is its lighting plan.  Architects designed a custom LED system that was integrated into the building’s round interior, which was quite a challenge.  Narrow, flexible LED modules were fitted into pre-made custom fixtures and then recessed into the ceiling.

The Turning Torso is included in the New York Museum of Art’s 25 Most Exciting Skyscrapers in the World exhibit.  Check out this article in LEDs Magazine for more details on the innovative lighting design.

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Keyboards of the Future, with OLED Technology

Back in October, I wrote a post announcing that the first OLED manufacturing plant was coming to the US.  Quick recap: OLED stands for organic light emitting diode (it’s an LED that contains carbon).  It’s an extremely innovative technology because it can be produced in ultra-thin sheets, so it will make things like light-emitting wallpaper possible in the future.

Well, here’s another amazing application of OLEDs.  Intel has created a laptop with an OLED keyboard!  Depending on what you are viewing on the computer screen, the displays on the keyboard buttons change.  If you’re playing a game, the letters of the alphabet will disappear and the keyboard will show controller functions.  Check out the video after the break and tell me what you think! (more…)

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The Link Between Lighting & Dieting

It’s a basic biological concept: environmental cues have a significant effect on behavior.

Companies use the concept to their advantage all the time.  Red, yellow and orange make us feel hungry, so fast food restaurants incorporate those colors into all their branding.  Wide, open entrances make a building seem more alluring, so retailers design stores with glass frontages and seamless entries.

The thing is, you have some control over some of your environmental cues.  Why not use them to your advantage to help support that New Year’s Resolution to shed a few pounds?

Take a look at the lighting in your kitchen to determine whether it’s helping or hindering your goals. (more…)

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5 Lights That Will Wow You

1. The Chandelier Made from Pens:

At first glance, this may look like a standard chandelier.  Look closer.  It’s actually constructed from 347 recycled Bic Cristal pens and 347 paper clips.  Talk about what you wouldn’t expect a light to be made of!  This one has got to be in the same category as the chandelier made from 3000 ping pong balls.

2. Better Defined as “Sculpture”:

This piece of light art was designed by Marcus Tremonto.  Its super-thin structure cascades from the ceiling to create a truly stunning effect.  Check out more of Tremonto’s work, you won’t be disappointed.  He blends style and function in a captivating way that makes you think twice about convention.


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