Goodbye Edison

What is the image that comes to mind when you read the word ‘bulb’? The icon for ideas, the bulbous round and transparent glass with a filament that lights up in the middle, right? So here’s a different take on the humble bulb. Goodbye Edison – nice brand name. Don’t waste time looking for the light source, it’s that thin line at the top. I can see this go right along the edges of a room and bathe it in soft, even light. We’ve grown so used to ‘point’ sources for artificial light, we don’t consider a light stream. It’s so much better than distributing light bulbs around a room and turning the intensity up or down to create the mood. And if there are 4-5 bulbs in a room, there are as many switches. Wouldn’t it be great to just play up the intensity in a part of the room with a scroll switch, much like the iPod wheel?

Recessed light  makes rooms look richer merely by pushing in the light source, but it still means distributing points of light and the concealed wiring is expensive work. With this set of LEDs you know if the water flowing through a tap is cold or warm. Discos come alive with LED t-shirts that glow in the dark and move to the music. Or shoelaces that flash. The latest fad in Japan is LED teeth – yes, teeth but why anyone would want to go around looking like this beats logic. Anything to get attention

Edison invented the bulb but the Light Emitting Diode is altering the way we interact with light. It is no longer illumination but decoration, style, luxury and mobility. Right from the bright screens of our mobiles, the headlights on our cars, the viewfinders of our cameras and the sleek televisions, LEDs are everywhere we look. Soon, mood shifting light will not require a room to be painted in different colours – we simply need to play with the LEDs