The best of 2014

Lighting

A Good Night Lamp Big Lamp and Little Lamp (Photo: Good Night Lamp)

This is a charming idea. The Good Night Lamp is actually a set of table lamps that you distribute among friends or family. The lamps communicate remotely so that as a lamp is turned on or off by its owner, that action is replicated in the others, giving illuminating little insights into the comings and goings of loved ones – even those on the other side of the world.  Read More

A demo installation shows View Dynamic Glass at various degrees of tint

The lounges and lobbies of San Francisco's W Hotel have taken a turn for the futuristic, incorporating variable tint "dynamic glass" courtesy of California-based start-up View. View Dynamic Glass, as the company calls its particular brand, alters in tint to reduce the amount of heat and light passing through. Tint can be changed on demand (with an iPhone app, if you like, GigaOM reports); or the process can be automated – allowing View to dub its technology an "intelligent glass system."  Read More

SOM's approach to net zero design begins with the fundamentals: the building's shape (Imag...

Net zero: put together, they're two of the buzzwords of contemporary building design. Sometimes the phrasing's a little different. ZNE, or zero net energy, is one variation; zero-energy building is another. They're all the same thing, though: buildings designed to offset their energy consumption over the course of a year, every year. Work has commenced on one such project, a 444-student primary school on Staten Island, New York, designed by architects at SOM and engineers at AKF.  Read More

Philips hue system lets you customize the lighting in every room in the house

Just last month we looked at the LIFX Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color LED light bulb that could be controlled via a smartphone. With 16 days still to go, the Kickstarter project has exceeded its US$100,000 funding goal 13-fold, suggesting there might just be a market for these things. Looking to claim its own slice of this pie, Philips has just flicked the switch on its own somewhat similar offering called hue.  Read More

The Light Bohrd Urban Commuter has front and rear LEDs

With the increasing focus on sustainable urban transport comes an increasing call for proper safety infrastructure and products. We've recently seen LED bicycle helmets, and now a company called Light Bohrd has developed LED helmets and skateboards for commuters that use their feet for pushing rather than pedaling.  Read More

The touchscreen menu on the Metz 52 AF-1 rotates 90° when attached to a camera held in por...

Until we get the ability to accurately control devices with the power of our brains, it seems like the touchscreen display will be the interface of choice for gadget-makers. Touchscreens continue to be added to devices which have previously made do with humble physical buttons, like the external flash, which recently joined the touchscreen fold with the launch of the Metz 52 AF-1.  Read More

The Sagrada Família as it's never been seen before (Photo: Moment Factory)

The Sagrada Família in Barcelona is a spectacular building in its own right, but when you throw a healthy dose of the latest lighting and architectural mapping technology in its direction, the facade of famous church becomes truly mesmerizing. That dose comes from Moment Factory, a new media and entertainment studio based in Montreal, Canada, that has produced a 15-minute multimedia tribute inspired by the original color sketches and words of the buildings' equally famous architect Antoni Gaudi.  Read More

The T1 creates better visibility for night cycling

The Torch T1 bicycle helmet utilizes an integrated LED lighting system to increase a cyclist's night-time visibility. After earning over 50 percent more than its Kickstarter goal just a few months ago, the T1 is now available for pre-order.  Read More

The Baby Plumen is better suited to regular lightbulb duties than its elder sibling

With the release of Baby Plumen 001, a shrunken version of its award-winning Plumen light bulb, Hulger is making a clear statement that the humble fluorescent light bulb isn't ready for the trash just yet.  Read More

Images of a statue from one piece of reflectance paper as seen with incident light from ei...

Recently the public has become aware of the potential of light field photography through the introduction of the Lytro camera. Light field recording allows an enormous degree of post-processing, letting you create just the image you want to print and display. A print, however, expresses only one aspect, no matter how carefully chosen, of the recorded light field. Can light field information be somehow encoded into a print, so an object can be examined from this side and that, or with different lighting conditions? A team of researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, and 3M have made the first steps toward a positive answer by developing reflectance paper.  Read More

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