[Explore] 2022: What We're Working On For The Future

[Explore] 2022: What We're Working On For The Future

We're working on all kinds of new ideas for 2022!

We hope to start prototyping, packing, presenting, and pitching for our designs in the next few months. Here's some of what we're up to...

Our first focus will be the actual lighting components themselves. For all spaces regularly used by humans, our designs will have circadian-optimized light sources and either wireless or app based controls. This means 490nm blue light, 660nm near-infrared wavelengths, and a range of violets. For landscape lights and those meant to be near wild or protected spaces, all lights will have 560nm amber- or red- modes for night time, including default controls to automate their use. Optics will be a major priority and every beam angle array will have a purpose, each of which we'll explain in our design documentation.

Our second focus will be on expanding the use of sustainable and innovative materials. This means using hempcrete, AirCoral, structural bamboo, cellulose films, non-laminated wood veneers, biobased pigments, beeswax sealants, vegetable fibers, and recycled metals like aluminum or copper.  While some materials like steel, silicon, rubbers, and plastics are difficult to avoid for things like optics, heat sinks, waterproofing, and impact resistance we're going to minimize their use as much as possible. We'll also love diving into interesting new materials like black silicon which shreds pathogens at the nano scale. And we shall continue investigating more unusual materials like nitinol, aluminum oxynitride, and Proteus, for which there are some curious use-cases.

Our third focus will be on pushing the envelope with power sources. There are some amazing things happening in physics, materials science, electrical engineering, bioengineering, and nanotechnology right now: Spider silk made by yeast carrying graphene fibers capable of delivering power. Self-generated wet power through alcohol diffusion. Scalable nanodiamond batteries made from waste. And 2nanometer chips. Each of these advances make so many things possible that were previously unthinkable; we're extraordinarily excited by these and other developments. We've got our fingers and toes crossed in hopes that we'll be able to integrate them into our designs.

Our fourth focus will be on design concepts themselves, rather than components. We want to build things that are appealing to the eye and to the heart, that create emotional connections with inhabitants and those visiting. We want them to be seen, as well as felt, if only by their effects on the space.

Our fifth focus will be on advancing lighting product design itself. We intend to develop both patents and open-source tools that will be shared with the world to make lighting more accessible, understandable, and exciting. Lighting is an understated aspect of the built environment yet it's absolutely everywhere. Its careful, thoughtful use continues to benefit all of us in each of our endeavors.

Lastly, our grand ambitions. One day, probably years into the future, we hope to see our work make it to outer space, perhaps on some of humanity's first permanent living quarters on another planet. We also believe we have a viable approach to emitting light along a curved path from the source, which would be game-changing on multiple levels. Lastly, we think we might have a way to make miniaturized light meters. These will be installed into architectural lights in a way that enables each luminaire to take lux measurements of the ambient illumination in a target area, then share this data across the control network. Each of the light sources can then dynamically dim themselves to an appropriate light level, rather than having to be programmed or constantly managed. If that sensor works out, we have ideas on how to make self-aiming adjustable fixtures using the sensors as a guidance system. Both sensors and the guidance system may be able to be formatted as a retrofit kit for a variety of existing lights.

Some day soon, we aim to start a Youtube channel diving into these subjects. Additionally, we'll be posting regularly on Instagram with fun science communication content relevant to topics like these. We also plan to release teasers and behind-the-scenes views of upcoming designs on Patreon. We're wildly excited to start on this new year's journey, and we hope you are too! All of your support means the world to us and we couldn't do it without you. Thank you so much for joining us.

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