Interview(s): 3D Printing Lighting Objects and Components – How does the Future look like?

Recently, I’ve been invited to give a dual interview for The Light Design, an online magazine dedicated to light and to the role it plays in cultural and creative industries, as well as in everyday life. I am delighted to share it with you for a deeper understanding of the future of additive manufacturing for lighting professionals!

Creative Light in Everyday Life

The Light Design caters to technicians, architects, artists, and to all those involved in creative fields. The magazine’s articles analyse light from different points of view, and tackle topics that range from concert and theatre lighting to the role of light in art and architecture, without neglecting interior, residential, commercial and architectural lighting.

The Light Design nicely captured the interviews on their inspiring blog. Here you can read the full interviews:

#1 – 3D Printing a lighting object – how does the future look like?
#2 – 3D printing of Lighting Components

Enjoy the perspectives, and please don’t be afraid to talk back, either via The Light Design Forum or just leave your comments in the footer section of this blog.

3D Printing Eleven_Article Banner

3DPrinting.Lighting – Technology and Inspiration Blog for Lighting Professionals

Finally, I could recommend you following the blog 3Dprinting.Lighting to stay informed about the latest developments, inspiration and practical user cases.

Make sure you won’t stay behind in the 3D Printing Revolution!

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Optogenetics: Controlling the Brain with Light

This short blogpost illustrates optogenetics — a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light that I recently rediscovered. Optogenetics is an emerging field of research that is combing ‘optics‘ with ‘genetics’ to modify the activities of brains.

Marcodevisser.com_Optogenetics_How it Works

Researchers genetically modify certain neurons to activate when they receive pulses of light. This is part of the medical field that is studying how to stimulate specific areas of the brain to relieve a host of chronic neurological aliments ranging from depression to Parkinson’s disease.

Marcodevisser.com_Optogenetics - controlling the brain with light_neurons

This post might be a bit ‘out-of-the-box’, and too research minded. But it think this interesting topic is worth mentioning. Impressive to see what the power of optics and light can do, especially related to the human body and brains. Finally, here’s a movie from MITTechTV explaining this new phenomenon in research:

[Pictures and animations in this post are courtesy of Sputnik Animation, Ed Boyden, and McGovern Institute for Brain Research.]

Lighting the Backyard: Let there be Night!

“A SATURDAY NIGHT TIME LIGHTING DESIGN SCHEME”

Usually, it’s hard for me to find some time to just ‘play around with light’. Rarely, it happens to me, like a Saturday night back in July. While sitting in the backyard and brainstorming about a new design for the garden, I started to sketch a simplistic light scheme and brought it into practice right away. Just because it’s fun. If you want to enjoy your garden after dark, proper garden lighting is essential. After considering the ‘do’s and don’ts’, I finally decided to draft this blogpost to capture all the thoughts I made. Others might find this kind of ‘hobby work’ as interesting as I do, or simply struggle with selecting proper lighting for their garden. No matter what, some Lighting Inspiration is always welcome to anyone!

The result is a basic but (hopefully) helpful guide to support you getting your best light scheme in place. I tried to make it all as practical as possible, incorporating some technology research as well. Think of light source selection, CCT definition, choosing the right illumination optics, selecting new ways of fabrication, etcetera. I’ve finally been making some custom solutions myself using inventive 3D printing technologies, certainly another interesting perspective to discover.

Marcodevisser.com_Lighting the Backyard_Ground-Level-Lighting_2Garden Lighting – Purely Functional or Subtle and Stylish?

Garden lighting schemes are highly variable: they can meet the basics of ‘enabling you to see in the dark’, or they can play an integral role to the overall design of the garden. To achieve the latter, the best approach is to consider lighting at the same time as you design the garden itself. That way, the garden design and lighting scheme should work in the right harmony together. However, if you are thinking about lighting after your garden is already established, the number one rule is to resist the urge to floodlight your garden. Instead, use lighting strategically and pick out specific objects like plants and trees to illuminate. They will help you find your way around when its dark, to create the right mood and to differentiate different garden zones.

Marcodevisser.com_Lighting the Backyard_Ground-Level-LightingSelecting the Right Lighting Type

There are a great variety of lighting types you could consider to bring out the features of your garden lighting design and to tailor your lighting for certain spaces:

  • Spot- / Accent Lighting: Recessed spot lights can be either mounted up- or downwards (or have a combination of both) to accentuate or illuminate certain objects, or just be used for general lighting purposes. They are great for providing illumination for walls and to be used at the base of trees;
  • Linear Lighting: ideal for recessed, surface and suspended lighting, delivering a high-quality, diffuse light with little glare;
  • Flood Lighting: pole and surface mount up-lights are ideal for illuminating garden walls, trees and other garden design features that merit attention;
  • String / Strip Lighting: soft and friendly light that comes mostly in flexible chains or strips, perfect to light the outdoor dining area, pergolas, or trees in a decorative or even romantic way;
  • Post Lighting: orientation lighting; perfect for improving navigation and safety around the pathways of your garden at night time;
  • Ground Level Lighting: integrated in decking, pavements and stairs, this can look highly sophisticated and design full.
Marcodevisser.com_Lighting the Backyard_Post-Top-Lighting

Post-Top-Lights: perfect for illumination a pavement or walk way.

Garden Lighting Considerations

There are a lot of topics to consider before doing the outdoor light installation. First, it’s important to thoroughly research the technology available, estimate the implications of electricity cost, the fixtures required and the lifespan of specific light sources. Most lights are available in low-voltage options which are safer and easier to install. Some lights require an electric power source and wiring. Then there is lifespan to bear in mind — certain materials will survive better than others when subjected to rain and wind. Lights with durable stainless steel or brass housings are recommended for a durable withstanding of the outdoor elements.

Uplights mounted at the base of trees results in great light play.

Uplights mounted at the base of trees results in great light play.

Colerrated Color Temperature (CCT): warm, cool, neutral or RGB?

Choosing the “colour of light” emitted by a light source was not a choice that was generally made before. With some LED products, there is a choice of colours, choosing a colour will set the mood of your space. Correlated Colour temperature (CCT) in lighting describes how the colour of the light appears from a lamp. It is measured in kelvins (K).  Imagine a scale from 1,000K (reddish) to 10,000K (blueish).  The higher up the scale you go, the closer the light resembles blue daylight, the higher the colour temperature the “cooler” a lamp will look.

Marcodevisser.com_Lighting the Backyard_warm-cool light explainedSelecting either a ‘warm’ light source or a ‘cool’ light source significantly impacts the total ambient temperature. Generally spoken, warm white light calls-up warmer color tints from certain objects, such as wood, sand stone, among others, and gives the warmer ‘candle-light’ feeling. Cool white light sources, on the contrary, better combine with stone, granite, concrete, etcetera. If you’re hesitating, applying neutral white light might be an option, it flattens out the contrasts a bit. There are simply no rules – the choice is about personal preference and use. If you like the traditional yellowish colour of a conventional lamp then warm white around (2,700 – 3,000K) would be the ideal choice. If you want a modern, clean look, you may prefer the brighter feel of a cool white lamp (4,000 – 5,000K).

Also, a mixture of various CCT’s might result in wonderful solutions. There is no reason why you could not have a mixture in the same setting. For example, warm white for the main area’s and cool white for accentuated areas. Application of colored RGB light is another consideration you could make, but likely limited in residential lighting applications since its more decorational and artistic than functional light.

When illuminating pure white objects or walls, the impact of differences in color temperature will be most visible. In that case, only limited light is absorbed by the illuminated texture itself and the reflective values are high, which will also impact the overal ambient temperature. Moreover, it positively impacts the energy efficiency since there’s simply less light (power!) needed for the illumination thanks to the light ‘transmitted’ bu the reflective surfaces.

Up & Down Spotlighting - all sketches are prepared in a warm and cool white version.

Up & Down Spotlighting – all sketches are prepared in a warm and cool white version. See what different color temperatures can do!

Why Great Garden Lighting Matters

If you’ve put a lot of effort into making your house and garden look just right, then it would be a shame to let the appearance suffer after nightfall. Poor lighting can be a weak link in your garden design. Well-thought lighting makes the best of your home and garden’s architectural features, plants and trees. There are endless moods you can achieve, but lighting is above all a work of personalized artistry!

There’s more to follow, stay tuned!

I’ll feature in the time to come some more blog posts on selecting and applying the different lighting types as listed above. I’ve tried to rework any of them in my actual garden light scheme .

Thanks anyway for reading this contribution, I hope this theme has caught your interest. Looking forward to welcome you back again!

The Basics of Lighting Optics

I’ve been writing from time to time about optics, especially related to use in illumination applications. As we learn more about light, what we really want to understand is optics that is the control of light. Let’s take a moment to step back to the basics, and learn a bit more on the optics types available and what they are used for.

Optics: The Science of Light
In fact, optics is a branch of physics: the science of light. Optics technology is concerned with all aspects of the behavior of light and thus covers a broad territory. In the International Year of Light, optics are one of the key-attention area’s, along with a variety of other light based technologies.

What is Optics? Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it.

The Future of Optics
Earlier, I’ve been writing on the ‘Future of Optics Engineering‘ and how the coming of “3D printed optics” will impact and change the future of optics manufacturing. If this topic has your special interest, I can really recommend you reading it!

Below is avideo from the Philips Lighting University, a basic and helpful movie for anyone interested to learn more about lighting optics, light reflection and refraction.

Photonics technologies are everywhere!

Photonics technologies are amazing, fascinating, and you find them everywhere: in communication, entertainment, medical, manufacturing, automotive, energy, lighting, agriculture, photovoltaic, security, art, …!

Day of Photonics
The internationally recognized ‘Day of Photonics’ is almost there, and over 100 companies globally intend to participate in this inaugural edition. On 21 October 1983, the General Conference of Weights And Measures adopted the value of 299,792.458 km/s for the speed of light. At the occasion of the anniversary, organizations in more than 30 countries organize all types of activities, from internal meetings, outreaches to schools, to opening their doors to the general public. The ‘Day of Photonics’ is the ideal excuse to promote ‘photonics’, and the timing makes it ideally suited as a preliminary to the International Year of Light in 2015.

EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium) is the industry association that promotes the sustainable development of organisations working in the field of photonics in Europe. They foster a vibrant photonics ecosystem by maintaining a strong network and acting as a catalyst and facilitator for technological and commercial advancement.