Lighting in the News - October 2015
With only a couple of months left for 2015, the world of lighting has turned on some charm. From environmentally friendly fluorescents to a light-based meter displaying utility usage for a skyscraper to microoptics for BMWs and bicycle wheels that show photos of your family, it’s already been a glowing October. Here are a few of the amazing adventures that have happened this month in the world of illumination.
Environmentally Friendly Fluorescents
Although LEDs are taking over the lighting world left and right, General Electric has created innovative fluorescent light phosphors that employ fewer rare earth elements than typical fluorescent lighting. Standard fluorescent lights expend 1,000 metric tons of rare earth oxides, or rare earth elements. The latest findings from GE employ green and red phosphors which eliminate the consumption of rare earth elements such as terbium, lanthanum, yttrium and europium. According to one of the leaders of the project, of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), Steve Payne, “The fundamental physics of these phosphors is compelling, and we are taking the next steps to assess their feasibility for commercial lighting.” Sounds like fluorescents could give LEDs a run for their illumination.
Inside The Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh is a new and innovative LED lighting design that displays water and energy usage, such as natural ventilation, composting, exposure to sun, waste and even the use of artificial lighting, along with other building indicators. The Beacon design was created by ESI Design, a design company that reimagines technology and social interaction. The Beacon is the first of its kind and made of over 1500 transparent liquid crystal polycarbonate panels with a grid of LED lighting. Those interested in an interactive experience with the Beacon’s sound and lighting design can check out the accompanying website which was also created by ESI to inspire more engagement with the design. Vice President of Creative Strategy for ESI Design, Gideon D’ Arcangelo explained that The Beacon is an intriguing data driven installation, focused on helping inquisitive minds understand how the world’s greenest skyscraper actually operates at any time of day.
You’ve just left your absolute favorite mall for the evening, only to find that the parking lot is poorly lit, and you can barely find your car. It’s one of those extra annoying moments that often happens when the parking lots are big and the lighting is bad. Luckily, BMW would like to remedy that situation with their latest lighting technology in the 7 Series. The luxury automaker has announced its Welcome Light Carpet. One simply clicks the key fob and a glowing strip of light appears on the path to light the way to your to the car. This creative lighting design is thanks to microoptics, which allows light to be emitted from the underbody of the vehicle to the ground. Let the light lead the way.
Picture Me Rolling
Ever wanted someone to see pictures of your family or favorite cartoon characters while you’re riding a bicycle? The Balight is an illuminated lighting display for the back wheel of your bicycle, which has the capability to show animated creatures, patterns and even air a few of those text messages and photos you want the world to see. Balight is currently being sold on Indiegogo for $99 pre-order and includes an Android app that allows bike riders to track their speed, mileage and calories. It’s safe to say bike riding will never be the same.
Hope you’ve learned a little more about the world lighting up all around you. Have any illuminating stories you want to add? Feel free to write them in the comments section below. As always, you can reach us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn or Pinterest!