Sapphire Industry Watch – June 26

  • These LED skydivers turned the sky into a piano – Red Bull: In arguably their coolest stunt yet, the Red Bull Skydive Team fell 4,000m in complete darkness and turned the sky into their dance floor. Wired with LEDs, the wingsuits worn by the skydivers were choreographed to the music of Camo & Krooked, and the final video is nothing less than adrenaline-pumping.
  • Warsaw National Museum preserves art while enhancing mood with tunable lighting – LEDs Magazine: In an effort to preserve historic artworks while displaying them in optimum lighting conditions, the Warsaw National Museum has upgraded its lighting system to include LED spotlights with tunable white-point correlated color temperature (CCT). With its vast collection of over 800,000 pieces, the museum is already seeing a reduction in energy use, while still being able to display the works in the highest quality light.
  • Mini demos street lights that also charge your car – Gizmag: As part of Low Carbon Oxford Week in the UK, Mini showcased a new system called “Light and Charge” that would allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their vehicles from street lights. The units would employ a modular LED design that is more energy-efficient than conventional street lighting and drives would simply need to connect their vehicle and swipe a credit card to begin charging.
  • LED lighting could help with sleep patterns – Electronics Weekly: According to wake-sleep pattern research conducted by the University of Manchester, the changing balance between blue and yellow when the sun rises and sets affects the wakefulness of mammals. As humans’ reactions to the color spectrum continues to become more understood, LED luminaires could be designed to produce custom responses – more wakeful in the morning and sleepier in the evening, for example.

Sapphire Industry Watch – March 27

  • Disco Dog smartphone-controlled LED vest makes your dog a party animal – Slashgear: New York creative firm PARTY has invented a LED covered vest for dogs – dubbed Disco Dog – that can be controlled by a smartphone via Bluetooth to display animated patterns of light. In addition to making a dog the life of the party, the vest has additional safety features, such as the option to automatically update the vest with a scrolling message of “Lost Dog” if the pup runs out of range.
  • Aerial fire truck add-ons to boost function – Fire Chief: LED technology is being used on aerial fire trucks to improve visibility and scene safety. Manufacturers are installing LED rope lights on both sides of ladders to better illuminate the path to the building, making it safer for personnel climbing the ladder and easier for the turntable operator to see where the ladder is during low visibility conditions.
  • This Millennium Falcon paper model looks real enough to fly – CNET: After four years of tedious assembly, Polish artist and self-proclaimed “Star Wars” fan Bernard Szukiel debuted his paper model of Hans Solo’s legendary ship, The Millennium Falcon, at the “Star Force” exhibition in Torun, Poland earlier this month. Measuring at 38 inches, the model was built using only paper, thin cardboard, a few wires, clamps, optical fibers and LED lights. The LEDs allow the model to light up like in the original movie.
  • Rubicon showcasing large-diameter patterned sapphire substrates for LED market – Semiconductor Today: Rubicon Technology showcased its large-diameter patterned sapphire substrates as well as its line of 4” and 6” polished sapphire wafers for the LED industry at LED Taiwan 2015. With an edge exclusion zone as small as 1mm, Rubicon offers LED chip makers more usable area to maximize the number of chips per wafer. LED Taiwan 2015 was held in Taipei from March 25-28.

The Art of Light – James Turrell Brings LED Light to the Guggenheim

Aten Rein

A rendering of James Turrell’s ‘Aten Rein,’ which uses LED lights and make use of sunlight from the museum’s skylight. (Source: James Turrell/Andreas Tjeldflaat/Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation)

One of the world’s most renowned artists working with light, James Turrell, is transforming New York’s Guggenheim museum with LED light.  The exposition, “Aten Rein,” opened on June 21 and runs through September 25.  The exhibit, six years in the making, will transform the museum itself into an exhibit of light using LEDs.

Aten Rein uses LEDs to light the rotunda of the iconic architectural landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Turrell takes the natural light from the museum’s huge glass skylight and the museum’s unique shape to bathe the central rotunda area of the museum in a mixture of natural and LED light.  LEDs illuminate the five rings of the rotunda in bands of changing colors.  You can see how the column of light forms in the photo.

According to Turrell in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the name Aten Rein comes from the ancient Egyptian deification of light.  During the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, the Aten became the principle god of ancient Egypt.  Aten was the name for the sun itself. Turrell, world famous for his exhibitions in light, is also the subject of simultaneous retrospectives at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, CA.

For Further Reading

Wall Street Journal, Iconic Museum Seen in a New Light,

The Architectural Record, James Turrell at the Guggenheim,

The New York Times, How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet,