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    Playing light like  music


    By Laura Taylor, Lighting Innovation, Philips

    Light is increasingly considered as a creative medium, just like music. And whereas in the past a light bulb just played a single note, nowadays you can create an entire symphony.

    Some of the most striking examples of this in the public sphere are bridges. The imaginative lighting scenarios on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, one of the largest public art installations ever commissioned, is the work of Leo Villareal. And ASA Lighting Design Studios used LED lighting to create stunning dynamic light shows for the Dragon Bridge in Vietnam.

    The San Francisco Bay Bridge
    The San Francisco Bay Bridge

    But creating impact through light will also be possible in more intimate environments, such as the home, as LEDs continue to fall in price. While the average living room currently has less than 10 individual light points, in the not-too-distant future there could easily be hundreds. Imagine being able to orchestrate them using scenarios that reflect personal preferences, moods, special occasions and different times of the day and year.


    Something similar is already available, albeit on a smaller scale. To take just one example, lighting designer Bram Bos has developed a smartphone app, called Espresso, which allows Philips Hue to dynamically reproduce colors from photographs of exotic places he has visited.


    In this respect we are witnessing a democratization of the design process; more people than ever are in a position to develop or influence multi-faceted lighting scenarios within their own living space.

    The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang, Vietnam
    The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang, Vietnam

    As Stefano Marzano, former Chief Design Officer of Philips and Electrolux once said, “We’ve entered a world with lots of new instruments which we are still learning to play.” Once we do - and it’s getting easier all the time - it could herald a whole new era in domestic lighting.


    How would you compose lighting within your home so it would be a visual spectacle, rather than a one-note design?