Celebrate Friday with your weekly visual treat.



Beautiful long exposure photographs of air traffic lights

To see the rest of this stunning set, click below.

long exp air traffic .jpg

[exxonvaldez on Flickr]



Light therapy from Philips Lighting in one rockin' car

Click below to check out the article.

Renault gallery 3_620x413.jpg

[Wired | Renault]



Mesmerizing video: a tree full of light



TV Font.

The rest of the alphabet is a click and a jump away,




What a way to celebrate! A wonderous projection for Coca Cola's 125th Anniversary.


Do you have a link? Please share!


Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage


Increasingly, lighting-integrated fabric is being used for interior design, installations and other uses.  Lighting has always been a big part of stage shows and in last night’s Billboard Music Awards, The Black Eyed Peas’ and six time Grammy Award winning singer Fergie raised the bar in fashion statements by sporting a dynamic luminous dress designed by Philips Lighting in collaboration with Stylist B. Akerlund.




The ‘little black dress’ was crafted using a figure-hugging fabric integrated with lighting to shape the singer’s curves and move with the music, showcasing a fusion of fashion, music, lighting and technology, the Philips design team worked alongside B. Akerlund, the industry’s leading Stylist/Costume Designer, to construct the dress.


Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage


Speaking about the creation, Rogier van der Heide, Chief Design Officer for Philips said: “As a brand, we seek out to work with artists from a range of different industries to evolve and revolutionise the way we use light. When Fergie challenged us to create something new for her, we wanted to design something that could bring an additional dimension to their audience and help showcase how light can further enhance experiences. What is remarkable with this dress is the way the lighting is integrated with the fabric and works in tandem with the beat of the music.”

Rogier continues: “For us, creating this dress was not only about the aesthetics, it is about viewer experience and impact - enhancing the artist’s performance through application of lighting.”


What do you think of it?  Any other examples to share??

Friday link fun: this week we've got light explosions, light sculpture explosions, and a neat way to stay safe when biking at night.



Transformer explosions in Texas. A sad occurrence, with some incredible footage.



Have you ever seen a socket like this? Probably not!

Click below to see a video demo.


[Steff Min]



Wires, broken screens, LEDs are turned into incredible Light Sculptures.

Click for more pictures.

crazy sculpture.jpg




Project Aura: self sustaining LEDs for bike safety. Red for slowing down and blue/white when the cyclist really gets going!

Cute video too.



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We got a little video happy this week, but maybe you'll be video happy too after seeing these!



City lights never fail to captivate. Montreal, Toronto, New York in time lapse.     




Dystopian typography by light, controlled by SMS and Twitter. To read more about this crazy contraption, click below:


[DesignBoom | Boris Petrovsky]



Orchestra and Lightshow … on a sewing machine!




Making future magic: Light Animations, to see the video, click below:

future magic.png

[BERG | Dentsu London]


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In any study of the changes that have taken place in the design of exterior lighting over the past decade, the one factor that dominates all others is the greater awareness of the need for efficient use and control of night time lighting. A general raft of complaints about the effects of poor exterior lighting has crystallised over recent years, whereby such matters are now generally referred to as "obtrusive light", or more commonly known as "light pollution" - a term which accurately identifies the problem as an environmental one. Obtrusive light has received expanding media coverage based on solid research, such as Dr Baddiley’s work for the BAA Campaign for Dark Skies [1] and the research of Chalkias, Petrakis, Psiloglou and Lianou on modelling of light pollution [2]. The public have become far more aware of environmental concerns than ever before.





Industry response

In response trade and national lighting associations have published advice and information, such as CELMA’s “Guide on Obtrusive Light (2007)” [3] and the Institution of Lighting Professional’s paper in the UK [4].


These general guidance tools centre on avoiding over lighting areas and directing the light as best as possible to the area where it is intended through a combination of the correct luminaire, installation and the correct light (lumen) output.  However, they lack a quantitative means of measuring and predicting the various aspects of obtrusive light. More work needs to be done to calculate the performance of existing and planned lighting designs and applications to minimise obtrusive light and greatly improve luminaire specifications. Obvious you might think, but less easy to achieve, because of the shear amount and complexity of data involved.


The CIE (International Commission on Illumination) has acknowledged the importance of this topic and two Technical Committees are revising publications 126-1997 “Guidelines for minimizing sky glow” and 150:2003 “Guide on the limitation of the effects of obtrusive light from outdoor lighting installations”.


Significantly, the recent EU Commission’s Regulation No 245/2009, implementing the Eco design requirements for Energy using Products (now ErP), gives indicative obtrusive light benchmarks for products for street lighting. Annex 7 sets out the following characteristics for “best available technology” luminaires:


The proportion of the light emitted by an optimally installed luminaire above the horizon should be limited to: Road classes ME1 to ME6 and MEW1 to MEW6 all lumen outputs 3%. And road classes CE0 to CE5, S1 to S6, ES, EV and A - lumen output ≥12000 lm is 5%, <12000 lm≤ 8500 lm is 10%, < 8500 lm ≤ 3300 lm is 15%, < 3300 lm is 20%. In areas of concern, limit ULOR to 1% for all road classes and luminaires to be designed to limit obtrusive light emission at no efficiency loss.



Catalysts for change

The CIE’s work on assessing the environmental impact of light pollution and seeking to include specific criteria for light pollution in the future is aided by two important pieces of work. The first is Outdoor Site-Lighting Performance (OSP) by Brons, Bullough and Rea [5]. This method uses lighting software to establish a calculation “box” around the public and private space and the property line, taking into account light reflected by the ground on the reference lit area and its surrounds. It enables the designer to analyse sky glow, by measuring the average illuminance on the side and top planes of the box; light trespass, by calculating the maximum illuminance on any of the side planes; and glare, by computing three illuminance values obtained at the property line. The downside is the amount of effort involved, especially for a large area.


Secondly, the French Lighting Association (“l’Association Française de l’Eclairage”) with their “2006 AFE Guide – “Les Nuisances dues à la lumière” [6] details methods, endorsed by CELMA, to optimise the luminous flux towards the sky. The work adds “lost flux” criteria to the ULR (Upward Light Ratio) parameter, giving a better representation of the influence of outdoor lighting on the importance of sky glow.  In addition to the flux emitted from the luminaire, it takes into account the dimensions of the installation, the photometric properties of the lit surfaces and their reflective characteristics.


Some commentators, such as Nicolas Bessolaz [7] argue that the work does not consider precisely enough the initial direction of light. He adds power reduction, comparing modern 70W equipment to 150W lanterns, and lower light levels to the discussion.



In practice

These papers give us an insight into the forthcoming CIE revision and bring us within striking distance of our goal of quantifying and reducing light pollution. No time needs to be lost though in implementing best practice. As an initial step the key parameters to reduce light pollution include: classification of the application / road category (i.e. M “mixed traffic “ or S “slow traffic” classes) and the Environmental Zone (E1-E4) relating to that particular location; source intensity (kcd) and luminaire luminance (cd/m²); sky glow (Upward Light Output Ratio – maximum percentage of 25 for Zone E4); light trespass into dwellings (Elux); curfew times; uniformity and, of course, the appropriate lamp, lantern and control gear package.



Local community relationships: The key to best results?

One message that is abundantly clear is that the job of the professional lighter is required, more than ever, to produce full projected data for the project, to use the right equipment and to make sure the set-up is accurate, but this process will clearly involve a closer relationship with the local community. And lighting and nature will be the better for it.





  1. Dr Chris Baddiley “A model to show the differences in sky glow from types of luminaire designs, with a view to recovering rural dark skies”
  2. C. Chalkias, M. Petrakis, B. Psiloglou, M. Lianou “Modelling of light pollution in suburban areas using remotely sensed imagery and GIS” Journal of Environmental Management
  3. CELMA (Federation of National Manufacturers Associations for Luminaires and Electrotechnical Components for Luminaires in the European Union) Guide on Obtrusive Light (2007)
  4. ILE/ILP Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light
  5. OSP method published in the Journal of Lighting Research Technology, Vol. 40, No. 3, 201-224 (2008): Science Daily summary of findings
  6. AFE (Association Française de l’Éclairage) English-language excerpt from AFE’s Light Nuisance Guide
  7. Towards an efficient control of light pollution : the optimization of the public lighting system from an accurate modelling of light pollution Nicolas Bessolaz




Additional reading



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Ready for Friday?


This week, we're going show you some clever lighting, look at 35,000 photographs, pay a visit to Tron in real life, and see what happens when you put people on the spot.



Can shade become light?

Click on the image for more of this cool lamp.


[Peter Bristol]


What happens when you put people on the spot?

Click below to see more of this cool project.


[LimeLight Project]


35,000 photographs in stop motion with projection mapping techniques



The set of TRON, for real!

To see the rest of the set, click on the photo.


[DesignBoom | Corian]


Haven’t taken out the recycling yet? Don't bother!


[Green Upgrader]


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