art, 照明, effects, science

Twilight Gazing


It happened that I have received a call this late afternoon, and unconsciously — as we all do — went out on the balcony carrying a cup of tea in one hand, my phone pressed to my ear by a shoulder. Suddenly I focused not on the conversation but on a colours of setting sun. I had to excuse myself and pretended something urgent had happened and promised to call back. I live in this building for several years now, and I have just realised that none of the sunsets I have been witnessing repeated themselves.

The Sun, in the meanwhile, was heading West and glass glazing was bidding a farewell to it with hues of orange, pink, lilac and blue, and aquamarine. Is there enough words in any vocabulary to label at least a million hues? Of course, not.

When original awe has gone, and I was able to function like a normal human being, I had returned the call, and inside the living room to my book. I have flipped the page to find an essay of Georgia Frances King, a Melbourne (Australia) borne, Brooklyn based editor for Kinfolk magazine. Her essay was on light. I dug a bit deeper in her writing, and found a piece “The Meaning of Light.” That inquisitive and so softly written feature led me to a discovery of Stephen Auger. Stephen is and artist and color theorist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He holds as well degree in the Neurophysiology of Color Perception.

I won’t even dare to describe the artist’s technique, instead I will let critics do this. Here is what Diane Armitage says: “Auger’s paintings are shimmering veils of paint combined with impossibly tiny crystal spheres that range from 40 to 100 microns in diameter. The result is that each painting must be read not only in terms of its color and radiant light, by also by its surface topography. Working with the crystals embedded in oil-based pigments, Auger manipulates his canvases in such a way that the paint’s viscous properties allow for flowing, pooling, and a complex layering of materials that mimic sedimentation. And so his work is as much about topography and the forces of erosion as it is about the fugitive quality of light. No two angles of viewing a painting by Auger will produce the same chromatic effects, the same reflectivity.”

In his work, The Twilight Array, the artist collaborates with experts in neuroscience and special illumination to use square paintings made of particles emitting, reflecting and radiating a very special wavelength of light perceivable only at very low light levels. Scientists call this a mesopic vision. Artist’s idea is that a viewer shall experience the sensation of a twilight not as a fleeting but continuous sensation.

Have you ever bought yourself wishing that feeling never ended?

Source of a photo: artist’s website.

comfort, controls, 照明, lighting, science, stars of lighting design, tomorrowlight, visual, wellbeing

Fagerhult Lighting Academy at Intersect by Lexus

DUBAI. Fagerhult in association with APID has held an event at the city’s trendiest places, Intersect by Lexus. This unique event brought together architects, interior designers and lighting industry professionals to discuss the phenomena of light. Conversation was kindled by Henrik Clausen, the Director of Fagerhult Lighting Academy. Henrik spoke of the human aspect of light. “Light makes us recognise each other as living beings,” Clausen said. His talk called for deeper understanding of the effect of light in any environment on personal wellbeing. This visionary approach supported by the academic research in Denmark results in adoption of new standards by manufacturing and consulting community and novel methods of controlling light.

comfort, cycling, fixie, lighting, science

Smidsy thoughts

…Sorry, mate, I did not see you! — the catchy acronym I have recently read in The Guardian, while doing some research on cycling safety. Commuting to work on my bike all week, while the weather in Dubai so permits, I was thinking about visibility every night.

My route is relatively safe and lays mostly on the pavement along Sheikh Zayed Road sky-scrapers, and about one third of it actually is shared with automobiles. Swooshing among pedestrians is fun, and maneuvering in the texting traffic of DIFC is not so much. They don’t see me.

Returning — safely — one night, I started looking up on what is there in the lighting world to keep a cycling commuter out of trouble.


Head lights and tail lights. Check. Make sure they blink. This pattern will distract a motorist faster than a non blinking signal. Remember, they look in the rear mirror and see many pairs of headlights much more powerful than yours. Blinking is different.

madison-high-visibility-arm-ankle-bands proviz-rucksack-cover-reflect-360

If you are a stubborn minimalist (like me), and have not yet installed this small LED device, resort to retro-reflective band. Longer ones would make a fine Rambo outfit. Messenger bag or a rucksack could be covered with reflective fabrics.

These all is conventional. How about something more of a Light Intelligence caliber.

Pure Fix Glow

Pure Fix, a bike maker from Burbank, California, has a special series — Glow. Phosphorescent paint suits those fixies well. So do Revolight wheels. This patented system consists of two narrow LED rings on each wheel. A USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery mounted on the front and rear hub, provides enough power to the LED to make a ride an experience for all the traffic.


Lumilor from US coats almost any material in what that they call electroluminescent paint. We wrote about them on our Facebook page a while ago.

This is how the company describe the science behind: “Electroluminescence (EL) is a characteristic of a material that enables it to emit light in response to an electrical field. At the sub-atomic level, the process behind electroluminescence is radiative recombination, also known as spontaneous emission. In radiative recombination, phosphorescent substances emit photons (light particles) in response to alternating electrical current.”


Lumo, a recently Kickstarter funded start-up, already made available to pre-order almost any clothes item studded with an LED ribbon.

My choice would probably be the last one.

Yet, coming back to the article from The Guardian I have stumbled upon. Shiny does not always mean safe. A lot depends on weather conditions, traffic speed, mobile distractions, and also anticipation and respect.

Drive safe and cycle safe.

Photos courtesy of ‘Buy a bike headlight with at least 100 lumens to see and be seen,’ by Dan Barham, and manufacturers and vendors mentioned in the post.

照明, design, effects, science

A stretching synthetic opal. Expect it soon


Material that changes color when stretched. We have already posted about the lab in Cambridge ( that plays with nanotechnology, and would like to talk a bit more on their particular inventions. 

Iridescent colors are achieved through zillions of sub-micron shells arranged into a crystal structures. Although synthetic opals have been fabricated in the lab for over two decades, the samples are brittle and aren’t suited for mass market applications.

The lab has come up with making crystals from spheres that have a soft outer shell, sort of a chewing-gum. A real advance is that they can make these photonic crystals by standard plastic manufacturing techniques. They are flexible, making them some of the most durable opalescent materials available, and they are suited for mass production and incorporation into consumer items.

We can see these polymers used widely in interior decoration and fabrication of furniture and lighting. What would you use them for?

Originally posted on Light Intelligence Facebook Page in Jan 2014

comfort, 照明, lighting, science, visual

If Light Is Not What You Expect

DUBAI, UAE. A question from a client has recently prompted to digg into a question why dimming LED does not feel like dimming conventional halogen spotlights. They have refurbished a restaurant and replaced spotlights with halogen lamps to LEDs. The effect did not impress: instead of warm ambience the client got pale dull environment.
The phenomenon of warmth in a dimmed halogen lamp is achieved through cooling down the tungsten filament. Less current passing through it gives out a redder spectrum of the light. Naturally we are expecting warmer hues from lesser light!
LED light source uses a different physical mechanism: electroluminescence. Halogen lamp is still incandescent in its nature. There is no major change in the color of the light when the current passes through an LED die. This change, in fact, is not discernible to the human eye. The color of light in an LED depends on the chemicals used to coat the LED die, and not on the thermal radiation.
Hope we have not yet lost you by the fourth passage. Because here is the good news:  the industry has a solution to offer. LED Engin from the USA has developed a light source which combines several dies driven separately which helps to imitate a shift from 3000K to 1800K (your incandescent lamp is 2700K, and your candle is 1700K).
Adopted from LEDs Magazine
Originally posted on in Nov 2013
alternative, energy, lighting, science

What If We Don’t Need a Cable to Transport Light

Rendering below shows SmartLight in action. Image courtesy of source site.

Rendering above shows SmartLight in action. Image courtesy of source site.

CINCINNATI, USA. A pair of scientists from the University of Cincinnati are convinced there is enough daylight for every room in every building. Their idea is to get rid of mediums in turning light into energy and the latter into light again. Anton Hafmann and Jason Heikenfield propose to channel light through the grid of electrofluidic cells, and then ‘poured’ down by demand above a certain area of the room. Each cell is only a few millimeters wide and contains fluid with high optical properties. Minimal electrical stimulation (cells are self-powered by sunlight; embedded phtotvoltaics are located by the windows) turns fluid into lenses shapes, and thus controls the light. According to Heikenfeld, professor of electrical engineering, the whole system ‘looks like a piece of glass that all of a sudden switches.”
Surely, this is the system for the Gulf.
Full article can be found on this website.
Originally posted on in November 2013
chemistry, effects, lighting, science

Excuse Me, Have I Just Drunk From a Red or Green Cup?

Photo courtesy of the source web-site

Photo courtesy of the source web-site

ROME, 4th Century A.C., an entertaining souvenir or a probe for royal poisons? This way or another, a Lycurgus cup remained a secret for scientist until the last decade of the 20th century. This chalice changes color: from green if lit from the front and scarlet if lit from behind. Craftsmen in Rome have grounded silver and gold till they got a nano-particle, a thousandth of a grain of a table salt!
Particles were then added to glass. Here is an explanation of Gang Logan Liu, an engineer of University of Illinois: “When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position. When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color.”
Drinks, anyone?

Full article can be found on The Smithsonian Magazine website.

Originally posted on in November 2013