Sapphire Industry Watch – July 3

  • Legally blind Hobart man sees the light by making log lamps from Tasmanian timber – ABC News: Duncan Meerding, a legally blind furniture and lighting designer, has created unique log lamps using solely Tasmanian wood waste and LED lights. Meerding’s vision behind the design was to create sustainable furniture that could be kept and passed down through generations to come.
  • Slideshow: Fashion takes spotlight at CE Week – Dell: During New York City’s largest consumer electronics and technology event, CE Week, the tech and fashion industries collided during the futuristic FashionWare runway show. Proving geek can be chic, LED lights, smart jewelry and dresses embedded with sensors made modernistic fashion statements on the runway.
  • Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space – Phys.org: Research from Purdue University found that hydroponically-grown leaf lettuce can thrive under red and blue LEDs. Additionally, the LEDs used 90 percent less electrical power per growing area in comparison with traditional lighting methods. This finding could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.
  • 7 Uses for LED Lighting Technology – Novus Light: LED technology has rapidly developed to become one of the leading and most prominent lighting solutions offered today. Due to the versatility of LEDs, they’re finding some highly innovative and interesting applications, including bionic LED contact lenses and LED wallpaper that can be programmed to present different settings on the walls of your home.

The LED Light Painter

When you picture LED light bulbs, do your thoughts initially jump to how efficient, durable and cost-effective they are? After all, they represent the most recent advancement in the evolution of the light bulb.

But beyond their innovative qualities, do you ever stop to consider LEDs as beautiful, colorful or even artistic?

Photographer Patrick Rochon certainly does. Over the past few years, he has taken eye-catching photographs involving LED lights, long exposures and flash, making his stills appear as though he painted them with light. Rochon’s most recent work, Inspired Light, was done in collaboration with Infiniti Motors in Dubai and features SUVs with approximately 60 feet of LED strips carefully fixed onto them.

CarPhoto credit: Patrick Rochon

The images, which take weeks of planning and measuring to set up, are not digitally manipulated in any way. Instead, Rochon uses different exposure times and settings to create a single image. For this shoot, it took four experienced technicians four hours to prepare each vehicle.

Swirls

Photo credit: Patrick Rochon 

Rochon began establishing his reputation as a light painter back in 2013 when he collaborated with RedBull and Snap! Orlando to photograph wakeboarders that were wearing LEDs in the dark. Through the use of LEDs and long exposures, he was able to capture the fluid motion of the wakeboarders as they moved around a lake.

Wakeboarders

Photo credit: Patrick Rochon 

This collaboration successfully mixed sports and technology together to capture the beauty and fluidity of athleticism in a way that had never been done before.

For a closer look at how the innovative project came to life, check out the behind-the-scenes video below.

As Rochon continues to push the boundaries of photography, we look forward to seeing more of his beautiful LED projects.

LED Spotlight: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris Goes LED

notre dame paris cathedral photos LED 11

Recently, a familiar European landmark got an illuminating facelift: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris. The famous 13th century gothic cathedral was retrofitted with a new LED lighting system by Philips, designed by Benoit Ferré, the resident bishop’s architect (European Architecture Company, EUROGIP). The project used a total of more than 400 luminaires with an installed capacity of just 30 kW, compared with almost 140 kW previously – reducing energy consumption by 80 percent.

The 400 luminaires are controlled by an easy-to-use touch-pad operated computerized system.  The system contains several lighting programs that can change the lighting due to the requirements of the day and Notre-Dame’s manager can add more if required. Almost all of the luminaires are dimmable, making it possible to modify the lighting according to the event taking place (ceremonies, concerts, prayers, etc.), the time of day, or the season.

The new lighting highlights two key works of art:

The Virgin and Child — This statue, moved to Notre-Dame in 1818, is the most famous of the thirty-seven representations of the Virgin that the cathedral contains. The LED lighting, using profile spots, redefines the characters while at the same time shining a gentle light onto the sculpture and the white flowers laid out at her feet.

The north and south rose windows — Made in the 13th century, the windows symbolize the flowers of paradise. Positioned discretely above the north and south doors more than 50 meters from the windows, two 250W LED spotlights shine onto each rose window, revealing the delicacy of the sculptures. Since they are invisible, the lighting gives the impression that the stained-glass window itself is radiating light.

For Further Reading

Artinfo, Notre Dame Refitted with LED Lights, http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2014/03/17/notre-dame-refitted-with-led-lights/

Philips, Philips lights up Notre-Dame as never seen before, http://www.newscenter.philips.com/main/standard/news/press/2014/20140312-philips-lights-up-notre-dame-as-never-seen-before.wpd#.U07GHPl90xE

Super Bowl Halftime Show Sparkles with PixMob LED Light Show

(Bruno Mars peforms during the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J., Photograph by: Jeff Zelevansky , Getty Images)

(Bruno Mars peforms during the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J., Photograph by: Jeff Zelevansky , Getty Images)

If you watched the recent Super Bowl, you were treated to a cool display of LED technology at half-time featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 80,000 people wearing special LED studded hats. Synced up with the music of Bruno Mars and the RHCP, the show filled the stadium with LED lights.

Montreal-based interactive lighting company, PixMob designed and built a unique light show specifically for the halftime show.  Each spectator at the game was handed a complimentary winter gift pack upon entering MetLife Stadium. Each swag bag included items to keep warm, one of the items was a special knit hat that they were asked to wear during half-time.

The stadium was filled with 500 LED panels as well as 14 PixMob transmitters that complemented the LEDs worn by the crowd. The 80,000 knit hats turned each member of the crowd into a pixel.  Each knit hat included three LEDs (for red, blue and green) and an infrared receiver. A PixMob controller directed the light patterns in real time. The receiver in each hat decoded the infrared signal depending on the location of the person wearing the hat, turning the lights red, white, green or blue to create animated effects syncing up with the show.

PixMob has done this type of show before.  They’ve tossed LED-filled beach balls onto audiences and used wristbands fitted with LEDs for unique light shows at music festivals like Coachella and for bands like Arcade Fire, Black Keys and Maroon 5.  There’s even speculation that they’ve got something up their sleeve for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

For Further Reading

USA Today, Here’s a guide to everything in the Super Bowl swag bag, http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/mike-francesa-super-bowl-swag-bag/

Montreal Gazette, Montreal firm PixMob turns Super Bowl crowd into human pixels, http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Montreal+firm+PixMob+turns+Super+Bowl+crowd+into+human+pixels/9460693/story.html

Wired, How 80,000 People Became a Human Video Screen at the Super Bowl, http://www.wired.com/design/2014/02/super-bowl-audience-became-human-video-screen/

Philips Lighting, Digital Lighting Makes a Splash at the Super Bowlhttp://www.lumec.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/04/digital-lighting-makes-a-splash-at-the-super-bowl/

Ice Orchestra Lights Up with LEDs

The ice orchestra in the Swedish town of Luleå

The ice orchestra in the Swedish town of Luleå

We like to talk about applications of LEDs on Clearlysapphire. This might be one of the most unusual applications so far. The remote Swedish town of Luleå, near the Arctic Circle, features an orchestra with instruments made of ice and LEDs. Using an igloo that seats 170 people for an auditorium, the orchestra using ice instruments has been playing music for 15 years in Sweden and around the world.

American ex-patriot Tim Linhart makes each instrument in his back yard each year – from cellos and violas to an ice xylophone, guitars, congas and a banjo – out of ice.  The finely chiseled instruments take about a week each to build, but that’s not the hardest part of the process.  Being made of ice, you need to make sure that the instruments don’t melt when played. They are so fragile that even the heat from a player’s breath will make them out-of-tune.  And, of course, you need to play them in a suitably cold environment, an ice auditorium.

Linhart uses LEDs to light the instruments bringing an otherworldly feel to the concerts.  LEDs are a perfect medium for lighting the fragile instruments because they don’t emit heat along with light.  Traditional lighting would melt the instruments.

You can see the instruments with the LEDs and listen to a performance in this story from CNN.

For Further Reading

CNN, i(ce)-Tunes: Sweden’s incredible ice orchestra, http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/21/travel/swedish-ice-orchestra-2/

LEDs Help Gravity Movie Makers Simulate Zero-Gravity

Sandra Bullock stars in the film Gravity (Warner Brothers)

Sandra Bullock stars in the film Gravity (Warner Brothers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have seen news about the new George Clooney and Sandra Bullock movie Gravity. The movie details the story of how two shuttle astronauts deal with a shuttle accident while servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.  The movie includes stunning shots showing the actors floating in space.  One trick that the filmmakers used to simulate zero-gravity was LED lighting.

While many movies like Apollo 13 have used parabolic airplane flights to show zero gravity, the director of Gravity wanted longer shots.  The parabolic airplane flights only give you 20 to 30 seconds of weightlessness at a time, so director Alfonso Cuarón looked into alternatives.  Some scenes relied on the actors swimming underwater. Others suspended the actors from wires with puppeteers pulling strings while robots filmed from various angles.

However, the most surprising zero-gravity shot tool was a very large LED light box enclosure filled with thousands of programmable LED lights.  The lights were programmed to show scenes of Earth and space. With the actors inside the enclosure, robotic cameras captured close ups of the actors faces to simulate space.  While the actors were stationary, the light patterns were not, simulating motion and something that appeared to be weightlessness.  The nice thing about this technique was that the actors could see exactly what was happening so they could react to their visual references.  The various shots were blended into the final movie simulating zero gravity.

You can see the trailer here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiTiKOy59o4

For Further Reading

NBC, Movie Tech: How ‘Gravity’ threw Sandra Bullock into zero gravity, http://www.nbcnews.com/science/how-gravity-threw-sandra-bullock-zero-gravity-big-screen-8C11326787

The Daily Beast, Alfonso Cuarón on the Making of His Instant Sci-Fi Classic ‘Gravity’, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/03/alfonso-cuaron-on-the-making-of-his-instant-sci-fi-classic-gravity.html