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Light

Scientists are trying to boost the amount of sunlight that gets down to urban alleys (Phot...

Everyone knows that downtown alleyways are dark at night, but even in the daytime, shadows cast by the tall buildings on either side can make them quite gloomy. While that might not matter much for little-used alleys, it's certainly a factor in cities where people live and work in them. That's why researchers from Egypt's Ain Shams University are developing a new type of panel that diverts sunlight from buildings' roofs down into the alleyways beside them.  Read More

The Zhong group from U-M responsible for pioneering a new graphene-based photodetector (Ph...

Thermal imaging has already found its way onto smartphones, but a team of researchers from the University of Michigan (U-M) have gone even further with the creation of an ultrathin graphene-based light detector. Being only slightly thicker than two sheets of graphene, the approach has the potential to put infrared heat detecting technology into a contact lens.  Read More

The straps of the Commuter X4 act as additional focal points, making it easier for drivers...

When Ed Ward was knocked off his bike and into a busy London junction, he was determined it wouldn't happen again. But, rather than give up cycling, he set out to improve bike safety lights. His latest creation, the Commuter X4, is a wearable, fiber optic rear bike light designed to help drivers spot cyclists, as well as judge their distance, width and speed.  Read More

Hue tap allows users control over their hue light bulbs without using their smart device

Looking to add further functionality to its range of smartphone-controlled hue LED light bulbs, Philips has announced a kinetic-powered switch to extend control over color settings at times when your smart device might be out of reach.  Read More

Starshade and its space telescope (Image: NASA)

Apparently NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, thinks that what space exploration in the 21st century needs is spacecraft that are a bit more botanical. The center has released a video showing off its starshade spacecraft that opens up like a blossom. Bearing a resemblance to a cosmic sunflower, it’s designed to help astronomers to directly study exoplanets, including taking the first actual pictures of planets beyond our Solar System.  Read More

A new Perovskite solar cell has been found have light absorbing and light emitting propert...

When looking for the best materials with which to construct a solar cell, the obvious preference is for one that absorbs light, not emits it. But researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have discovered a material that does both. Amongst a variety of potential applications, the researchers say the material, Perovskite, opens up the possibility of mobile devices with displays that double as solar cells.  Read More

The Garden House by De Matos Ryan (Photo: De Matos Ryan/© Hufton+Crow)

A new house on the Thames in London not only accommodates a family of 10, but offers special flood-prevention measures and a clever scheme for taking in natural light while maintaining privacy. It’s called the Garden House, as it sits in a sunken garden courtyard surrounded by open terrace and greenery. But its real achievements are harder to guess. The sculptural volumes contain a five-bedroom house; the glamorous-looking courtyard is actually a high-sided watertight concrete container, and the blank upper walls conceal light wells that cleverly let in sunlight without overlooking the neighbors.  Read More

Green Spirit Creations saw an opportunity to create environmentally-friendly products usin...

UK-based Green Spirit Creations is the latest team to try its hand at paper-based lighting solutions. Seeking out discarded materials from local shop-owners, its stylish household lamps are made from 100 percent recycled cardboard (bulbs, wiring and switches aside).  Read More

New research could help shift workers at travelers reset their body clock faster (Image: S...

The human body clock is the curse of any shift worker or traveler arriving in a new time zone. Although one's body clock can be adjusted by external cues, such as light – a factor that devices such as the Re-Timer and Litebook are designed take advantage of – the adjustment period can vary significantly for different people. Now researchers have discovered the mechanism that controls how easily such adjustments can be made.  Read More

The unobtrusive nature of SnapRays adds weight to its creator's claim as a convenient repl...

Placing guidelights up your hallway or down your staircase can involve bulky plugin solutions or a professional and expensive installation. SnapRays Guidelight, an easy-install outlet cover with built-in LEDs, could simplify this process by turning any standard power outlet into a night light without the need for re-wiring or batteries.  Read More

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