From our daily exposure to all types of lightings (from designing lightings to lighting technology and applications to lighting fixtures and systems), we begun also to explore creation of light.
That made us explore natural wonders where nature itself (be in a bacteria to a deep sea creature to our physical human body) creates light. This concept or emitting light form has been termed as BIO-LIGHT.
Powering lights through electricity has always been a common knowledge to us as the only way of doing it. But what it if it can be powered by living organism?
Bioluminescent light is a new concept of powering light through living organism, like fireflies, being explored by Philips. It emits out low voltage lighting that is suitable for ambience lighting or signage in the dark.
Due to its low lumen output, it is not meant to compete in the same market as LED or other light source. But, it possesses the same energy saving quality as to LED. Further, it does not require electricity to power them; it feeds on methane and composed material to sustain life, hence the continuous generation of lighting. Being just a living organism, I suppose that it can take up various form and sizes, making it versatile in many other environment, like becoming a road marking at night or lights in dark places like theatre or cinema.
Currently the life span of the bacteria or other light emitting organisms are limited to days, but scientist is working to extend the life span to months, making it more realistic for use.
Using bioluminescent light, in my opinion could bring about a new design for indoor lighting as it is unique and have no restriction in shapes. It could be more of a complement to LED lighting design or traditional light.
However, such bio-light would lack the “smartness” of the future connected lighting and the dimming control as one would desired and compared to LED.
At this stage, I believe it would be much more expensive to install and conceptualize.
Article by Tan Chin Koon, Nanyang Technological University, 3rd year EEE student