brilliant: the evolution of artificial light

Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light by Jane Brox, is absolutely…well, uh, I just can’t resist…must not type this pun….brilliant! I highly recommend reading this book to anyone…super-mega-lighting-dork or not.  Brilliant really goes beyond just lighting:  It looks at the evolution of human history as filtered by the powerful effect that man-made light has had on our civilizations.  The research that the author did is amazing; you will continually be blown away by the detailed historic tidbits sprinkled throughout.  It’s a terrific, fast -reading book…really fun. Continue reading brilliant: the evolution of artificial light

3+1: fundamental lighting categories

Above is a rendering I made to help explain a basic way to categorize light sources.  Lighting can be broken down into three fundamental geometric categories: point sources, linear sources, and planar sources.

Now, we don’t live in a conceptually perfect Euclidean world, and the perception of relative scale of course matters in how one defines a certain light source.  What is approximating a skinny “line” of light at a far distance resembles a rectangular plane of light at a near distance, so context is essential in these categorizations.

A direct result of this relative scale perception issue is that when points, lines and planes are aggregated together in clusters, they create visual textures across a meta surface.  Let’s call these the “3+1” fundamental geometries of lighting.

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OMG! LED lighting is killing American freedom!

It appalls me to see how many blowhard crankpots are hiding behind the tenants of “personal freedom” and “liberty” and trying to actually reverse the residential energy efficiency standards enacted in 2007.  I mean, come on…it was the one good thing Bush Jr. did for the environment!

The really twisted part is that history is sadly repeating itself.  Like clinging to their glory days of long-gone youth, some people just can’t let go of past technologies.  Did you know that people actually bemoaned the passing of gaslight in favor of electric light?

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SEED Magazine: The Evolution of Illumination

SEED Magazine has an interesting piece on bioluminescent organisms. One paragraph in particular reads like Mother Nature’s version of interactive lighting control: “Their lights have a variety of purposes: Camouflage, attracting mates, attracting (or distracting) prey have all been observed. In animals with nervous systems, in most cases, neural activity initiates the bioluminescence. But in the velvet belly lantern shark, Lynn says, researchers found that the glowing was not caused by nerve cells. Instead, it seemed, certain hormones controlled the glow: Melatonin and prolactin turned it on, and a hormone called Alpha-MSH turned it off. This makes some sense, as … Continue reading SEED Magazine: The Evolution of Illumination