Sapphire Industry Watch – April 10

  • Monuments Around The Globe Are Turning Blue For Autism Awareness – BuzzFeed: In an effort to increase autism awareness, 13,000 buildings across the globe shined bright blue on the evening of April 1. An annual tradition since 2008, major world landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and its LED Lighting System, lit up blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Taiwan Expanding Into Indoor LED-lit, Pesticide-free Farms – Lancaster Online: A new generation of Taiwanese farmers is growing vegetables indoors under bright LED lights in climate-controlled “grow rooms”. High-tech indoor farms are now yielding more crops per area than soil and because of the intensity of lights and nutrients provided in the water, plants grown under LED lights grow twice as fast.
  • Hotels Light Up to Influence Human Behavior – Sourceable: Amongst furnishings and art, lighting is emerging as the most important factor that can evoke emotion and create ambiance for hotel guests. A case study by electrical firm Leviton, demonstrated how LED lamps are able to transform lobby areas with colors and aesthetics that couldn’t be achieved with standard incandescent lighting.
  • LA Connects, Controls its LED Street Lights – Energy Manager Today: The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting has implemented a new management system that allows it to remotely control the city’s LED street lights, along with monitor power usage. Made up of about 7,500 centerline miles of LED street lights, LA’s entire system can be managed remotely through any web browser, eliminating on-site commissioning.

How LEDs Have Influenced Design

Illuminating everything from the ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel to the iconic arch at Wembley Stadium in London, LEDs are bringing a fresh new style to interior and exterior design.

LEDs mock natural lighting

As LEDs have started to be implemented into homes and workspaces, they’ve proven that good indoor lighting can offer much more than just brightness. It can provide beauty, elegance, esthetic, comfort, ambience and character into any space when used appropriately.

The Leica Camera headquarters, for example, have a modern and sophisticated feel thanks to the tasteful mix of LED and fluorescent lighting.

Leica Headquarters

Photo credit: LEDs Magazine

The lighting in the Leica workspace blends seamlessly into the building’s design, providing a beautifully clean look and an optimum work environment. The design incorporates a mix of color temperatures to provide the look and feel of natural light.

Natural light doesn’t just enhance the look of the interior, however — it also has the ability to uplift people’s spirits.

Feeling blue? LEDs can change your mood

In addition to creating a more comfortable visual experience, LED lights have even proven to be able to change moods.

Thanks to modern technology, mood lighting can be controlled by connecting smartphones to LEDs or by using other high tech lighting systems. According to the Cooperative Research Network, adjusting the color of lighting can help people feel happier and not as tired at the end of the day.

Humans prefer daylight, and so any sort of lighting that more naturally resembles sunlight makes them more energetic. These mood-enhancing lighting systems can be programmed to shut off, however, when everyone has gone home for the night. In fact, the Leica facility has programmed its lighting system to dim when feasible to save energy and also to extinguish in areas whenever unoccupied.

LEDs brighten outdoor displays

While natural lighting may be preferable for indoor spaces, who doesn’t love a good outdoor light display?

To attract and excite onlookers, the outside of buildings and major landmarks, such as Madison Square Garden and the Calgary Tower, are receiving LED upgrades to their appearance.


Photo credit: New York Post

Outdoor venues are beginning to see the advantages of LEDs for several reasons, including:

  • Lower energy consumptions
  • Availability in a broad range of brilliant, saturated colors
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • High efficiency
  • Very long lifetimes

Whether used for indoor or outdoor applications, there’s clearly a bright future for LED lighting.

Wearable LEDs – LEDs Go Upscale in Fashion

We’re all familiar with the use of LEDs in children’s sneakers when each step a child takes lights up an LED in a sneaker. Now, LEDs are going upscale in clothing with designers taking advantage of LEDs for aesthetics and even going high tech to highlight your mood.

A recent Akris fashion show featured an evening gown studded with LEDs.

A recent Akris fashion show featured an evening gown studded with LEDs.

Swiss design house Akris’s Albert Kriemler used LEDs in his new ready-to-wear collection that premiered in Paris in March. Akris took cues from science and technology in designing his latest collection.  His latest show debuted two long evening dresses and a suit glimmering with constellations of tiny LED lights.

The lume collection features mood-indicating LEDs.

The lume collection features mood-indicating LEDs.

Designer Elizabeth Bigger’s Lüme Collection brings LEDs to the simple black dress and black shirts.  The collection uses embedded LEDs that can be illuminated in patterns controlled from a smartphone to bring a little fun into the clothing.  According to an article in Gizmag, Bigger’s objective was to “create a series of garments that could adapt to the users daily life, changing in color depending on the event, location, mood, or even just to match another garment or accessory.” Using a link via Bluetooth to a smartphone, the LEDs in the clothes can even mirror your mood as posted on social media, the weather forecast, or any other data to which your smartphone has access. Recently, the Lüme Collection won the Jury Prize in the Aesthetic Category at the 17th International Symposium on Wearable Computers.

Sensoree's Mood Sweater helps those with sensory disorders understand and project their moods via LEDs.

Sensoree’s Mood Sweater helps those with sensory disorders understand and project their moods via LEDs.

While most clothing designers focus on aesthetic appeal, the designer of Sensoree’s Mood Sweater focused on the practical with a medical spin. Kristin Neidlinger created the sweater during her MFA design research at the California College of the Arts for people with conditions like autism or sensory processing disorders. The mood indicating sweater can help the sweater wearer actually see how they are feeling and project those feelings to others around them.

According to an interview with The Verge, Neidlinger says she thought of it as strictly a therapeutic device, while the fashion industry started to notice it for both its technical and stylistic creativity. The sweater uses sensors to detect a certain kind of sweat in the palms of the wearer’s hands that varies depending on the wearer’s emotional state, and then translates it into multicolored light emitted by LEDs.

For Further Reading

LEDinside, LEDs Hit the Runway in AKRIS RTW Fall 2014 Collection,, Lüme fashions feature flexible, programmable LEDs,

The Verge,