An international movement working to preserve our dark night skies has released an interactive map of sites that everyone can visit. The International Dark-Sky Association's accredited "Dark Sky Places" provide visitors with the sparkling views of the night sky that our recent ancestors enjoyed as a matter of course. The parks are about more than just providing a place for astronomers and the public to look at the stars. They're also there to raise awareness of the problems that light pollution poses for the environment and even to human health.
The street lighting in the US city of Los Angeles is about to get smarter. LA is to become the first city in the world to deploy Philips' SmartPole street lights, which are equipped with fully-integrated 4G LTE wireless telecommunications technology. A total of 100 SmartPoles will be rolled out.
Internet-connected LED bulbs offer greater energy efficiency and remote-controlled operation over their standard counterparts. As the use of mobile apps to switch and/or dim lights is becoming more mainstream, some companies are taking the next step towards futuristic sophistication. The Nanoleaf Smarter Kit is designed to provide smart lighting control through voice commands given to Siri.
Phosphors are essential to fluorescent lighting, and thus office parks the world over, but their use of rare-earth elements makes them less than ideal. To address that issue, new types of phosphors have been developed that use substantially less rare-earth elements than current phosphors found in fluorescent bulbs. This could reduce the reliance on the limited supplies of rare-earth elements until fluorescent lighting can be completely replaced by LED lighting, which isn't expected to occur for over a decade.
Philips' clever Hue lighting system has just become a bit more versatile. The Dutch firm has released an upgraded version of its Hue Bridge with support for Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to control their Hue lights with Siri and to have them work with other HomeKit enabled devices.
Lighting can make or break a room. Get it right and the room comes to life when the curtains are drawn. Get it wrong and the room can seem cold, dark and soulless. Novelty lamps can draw the eye, providing a focal point and conversation starter, and the Bulbing Lamps from Studio Cheha fit the bill perfectly.
Runners have plenty of options for lighting, from simple, purpose-built runners' lights, to lighted hydration packs, to LED running shoes, to neon-glow belts and beyond. Typically these lights are powered by replaceable or rechargeable batteries, which can leave you in the dark. The all-new Million Mile Light from startup Positively Human makes you the battery, keeping the light flashing so long as you're running.
A highly-flexible yellow-tinged white-light LED created at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan combines off-the-shelf parts with novel design patterns. The LEDs produce a uniform sheet of light and could soon find use in curved and flexible TVs and wearable displays.
A new 300,000 LED façade has been installed at the Allianz Arena, home of soccer powerhouse Bayern Munich. The façade is wrapped around the entire outside of the 71,137-capacity stadium, covering an area of of 26,000 sq m (280,000 sq ft), and will be used to create dynamic and colorful light displays.
In the gloomiest corners of a home, an artificial light will often not provide adequate brightness. A new device, however, is aimed at brightening up a room with the brightest light of them all: the sun. Lucy is a solar-powered robotic mirror that reflects natural light into your home.