There’s a big change in lighting going on around the world. The thing is incandescent light bulbs being phased out in more and more countries and in exchange for LED and other energy efficient light bulbs. Since September 1, 2012, trade in light bulbs in the European Union is prohibited. The phase out on incandescent refers only to household lighting. Shops are still allowed to sell their existing stocks and halogen lighting is allowed under conditions. Most types of halogen lighting remain permitted. But starting in 2016 only the most economical types may be sold. Halogen bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but use more energy than CFLs and LED bulbs.
So what to do with all these used incandescent light bulbs?
Cloud shows ‘lightning’
The answer is simple, let upcycle designers be creative. And so some did. For instance Castor Design. If you’ve been visiting upcycleDZINE from the beginning, you may have read the post about the Invisible Chandelier they created. A lamp made out of a collection of hundreds of burnt out light bulbs lit from within. The design looks like one giant light cloud, a sort of ‘floating’ canopy.
And now I stumbled onto another design that uses old bulbs. It also has the shape of a cloud, but this one is so much bigger, more impressive and… interactive.
The design is called CLOUD CEILING, an interactive installation created by artists Wayne Garrett & Caitlind r.c. Brown, based in Calgary | Canada. “Constructed from hand-bent steel, reflective mylar, electronics, motion sensors, LEDs, and 15,000 re-appropriated incandescent light bulbs, the piece is an permanent installation designed specifically for Progress Bar in Chicago. As bar patrons pass beneath the installation, they trip motion sensors within the CLOUD, creating ‘lightning’ beneath the cumulous surface of light bulbs, mapping their progress through the space and the social ‘electricity’ between people.”
When I saw the photo’s and read what this design was all about I was perplexed. Firstly by it’s appearance, it’s huge. And secondly the fact that it’s interactive, it reacts to motion.
How cool is that? I think this is one of the most beautiful ways to upcycle old incandescent light bulbs.
Previous to this project Wayne Garrett & Caitlind r.c. Brown created a version called CLOUD, see photo and video below, shown at Calgary’s Nuit Blanche festival in 2012. It’s also interactive, but it’s a smaller sculpture, created from 6,000 incandescent light bulbs. “The piece utilizes pull string switches and everyday domestic light bulbs, re-imagining their potential to catalyze collaborative moments and create an enveloping, experiential environment.”
The artists collected burnt out bulbs from the surrounding community, forging an informal relationship with non-artists, reducing costs, and asking audiences to reconsider household items in an alternative context. “During exhibition, viewers interact with CLOUD by initiating impromptu collaborations, working as a collective to animate ‘lightning’ on the surface of the sculpture, turning the entire cloud on and off.
Photos and video © Wayne Garrett & Caitlind r.c. Brown
CLOUD CEILING [and CLOUD] is upcycle design that shows exactly how much waste, in this case light bulbs, we throw away. It’s also a nice remembrance of an important product and technology that was used for such a long time and is in transition.
Design by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett