Bio-luminescent Lighting

eca86bda374b15e8f18b27Bio-luminescent lighting is the future of how indoor spaces will be lit up.  Rooms would have a new glow about them that would invite people into the space, similar to that of the creatures who have this bio-luminescent feature.  They use the light to attract prey because it is a comforting type of light.  Of course, this light source could only be used for ambient lighting, but instead of being a lamp or stationary object, it could be in the wall themselves.  Imagine having a living bacteria flowing through the walls of a room giving off a very soothing feeling.  Dynamic lighting is becoming a new way to experience space through a light instead of just having one static light.  You experience more spaces and reasons to move around.  While this product is still in the experimental phase and LED lights still dominating how spaces are lit, it may be a while before these become commonplace.  One thing to remember is that since this is a living organism, could it die?  What were to happen if your wall was to sudden just die and there was no light?  You would possible need to get the whole wall replaced and that would create more problems than naught.  Also, since this bio-luminescent bacterium needs a food source of some kind to stay alive and the people controlling that food source were to leave for a week for example, it would not be good for the bacteria.  There is still a lot of experimenting to be done with this bacteria and it could potentially prove to be a useful lighting device in the near future.




  1. kneesbee

    The idea of spatial experiences through light is compelling to say the least. It is an idea that has been influencing and driving the architectural world since the very beginning. Though dynamic lighting is an interesting concept, it may be difficult to harness with living organisms. As you mentioned, sustainability may be an issue.

    There is a Parisian company called “Glowee” currently trying to master the art of bioluminescent lighting. Their lights consist of transparent cases filled with a gel containing the bioluminescent bacteria, alongside the sugars and oxygen they need to survive. The bacterium is both non-pathogenic and non-toxic.

    Presently, there are a few drawbacks to Glowee’s lights. Their current design can only produce light for three days. Their intention is to improve this lifespan, though I have to question whether the cost and means of production could ever rival the efficiency of other light technology. Bioluminescent lighting would only have a few advantages over conventional lighting, such as no electricity consumption, considerably less carbon dioxide emissions, and minimal light pollution. These advantages are promising, but would only become practical in specific settings.

    For example, the company was born in response to a French law passed in July 2013 that forbids offices and retailers from keeping their shop fronts lit during the early hours of the morning in order to curb light pollution and energy consumption. Since Glowee emits a non-invasive soft light and won’t eat into France’s electricity network, it manages to bypass these laws. The company also plans to expand their market to airports, road construction, urban furniture, transportation, and nature reserves. Glowee still has a long road ahead to finalize and commercialize their product, but once they do, it will be yet another step further into the illumination revolution.

    – Khai Tran

  2. Bioluminescence seems to be a good solution for ambient light for green and sustainable design. But, some questions might need to be answered to decide whether bioluminescence could benefits designs. It is obvious that using bioluminescence instead of other energy-need light could provide a considerable saving on energy. However, as living creatures, these bionts might not able to adapt new circumstance which differs from their living environment. The change of temperature, light and sound condition, and whether, are likely cause the inadaptation and even sudden death to bios. Imitation of their living environment could solve this problem, but if the solution needs more energy and material input, the advantage of bioluminescence as low consumption seems gone. The idea of using luminescence bios to create flowing light is innovative and attractive. But if it needs living creature’s life as a price, we might figure out a new way to achieve the floating luminescence. Instead of bios, put some fluorescent powder in water might also able to create the similar feeling.
    If it is proved that bios could fit their new environment well with a lower total energy consumption than other similar luminescence, then the future of ambient light might change. As introduced in the article Bioluminescence and the future of lighting, human waste is the food source of these bios. Thus, more than requires low energy, the new light style could even achieve negative energy consumption by reducing waste and reuse it. Comparing with other lifeless lights, self-energizing, self-repairing and even self-reproducing bioluminescence are much more attractive, in both energy and aesthetic aspect.

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