What Watt?

Watch this time lapse video:

That mass of incandescent beauty is a spherical chandelier designed and created by Tim Fishlock, a designer out of London.  Tim was asked to create one of these chandeliers for a private commission, but will be making ten total in a series.  This lamp is called What Watt? and is made of 1243 suspended incandescent lamps of various sizes, shapes, and forms.  Beautiful.  What Watt? is almost 40 inches across.  If I had a big industrial building as my design studio with huge ceilings and epic awesomeness, this would be hanging in the lobby.

Thanks, Yatzer!

Forrest Jessee’s Push Pull Lamp

It reminds me of Jenga with light.  Enough said.

A New York designer, Forrest Jessee, along with four of his friends (Chris Barley, Troy Therrien, Brigette Borders and Egbert Chu) designed this fun, interesting lamp at Columbia University in 2007.  I believe this is a class project product – on Forrest’s website, it is listed under a category of “Enclosures and Environments II,” which sounds like the classes I took at KTH.

From Forrest’s website about the Push Pull Lamp:

The design incorporates the common elements of a lamp: the diffuser, bulb, and housing, in a seemingly continuous series of wooden slats. The slats have specific patterns milled from each piece in order to allow them to move in various directions around the core of the fixture. The core houses the diffuser and the bulb, while the wooden slats direct light according to how they are configured.

The result is a customizable light source that can be configured for a variety of tasks and effects by the user.

Cool lamp, folks.

NASA’s Flying Lady with Long Distance Eyes, SOFIA

NASA has many telescopes in play, optical or otherwise, in a variety of different forms.  We have the Hubble Space Telescope that peers into the celestial bodies in several ways, we have ground-based telescopes that track the stars, radio telescopes that listen for whispers among the stars, and several other forms of watching and tracking the sky and beyond.  NASA has been working on a new one for a while (at least a few years), this time it’s a far-infrared vision system mounted on a modified 747SP.

Meet SOFIA – NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy:

See that big gaping hole in the side of that aircraft?  That’s the telescope.  SOFIA flies around and tracks planets, stars, and other space stuff – at least when it’s operational.  That’s the plan.  Right now, the feat is that SOFIA’s big open cavity there is the largest to ever have been flown.  The telescope is fully exposed, and NASA is making sure that all is copasetic with the design and equipment before doing any of the really cool stuff.

SOFIA’s main gear is a German-made, 2.5 meter far-infrared range telescope capable of seeing between 0.3 and 1600 microns, weighing in at 34,000 pounds.  She’s going to be looking for planet formations in nearby star systems, planetary composition, Milky-Way dynamic activity, and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies among her other work.  SOFIA’s got a big task, and it is super cool to me that NASA is taking this to the skies.

Besides looking at the universe from a new angle, what I like best about SOFIA is that she’s not at all trying to blow up missiles, enemy troops, tanks, planes, or any of that other nonsense crap.  SOFIA is trying to scope out things that could help us find answers.  LOVE IT!

Here’s a few videos of SOFIA – the first is a NASA “Mission Update” video:

The second video is an air-to-air video of SOFIA in flight:

Last video – an animation of the SOFIA aircraft and some of its inner workings:

Be sure to check out the SOFIA mission page at NASA, and the Dryden Flight Research Center site.

The Star Sower

Here’s something that just inspired the heck out of me all weekend.

This weekend, one of my KTH colleagues in Stockholm sent this great link to our private list – a set of pictures of a statue in Kaunas, Lithuania.  (thanks, Chrissa!  I miss you!)

This statue is, in my humble opinion, brilliant.  Topically, it appears as though the statue represents some kind of farmer or earth worker of some sort.  It is only when the night falls and an artificial light source is shone upon the statue that it takes its true form – the Star Sower.  Beautiful!

Thanks, BoreMe!

JimOnLight.com’s Top 20 of 2009

I was just pouring over some analytics for the website, and I noticed that JimOnLight.com saw almost half a million views in 2009.  That took my breath away, you awesome people!  Thank you so much for reading the site – it warms my heart more than I could ever express.  This is my favorite thing to do, and I hope that you all continue to read and contribute your ideas and links for stories.

I love to see what people read on the site – I’m rounding the corner of 1,300 posts and readers have left almost 2,000 comments.  What a day booster!  I went through and compiled a list of the most popular posts of 2009 – I’ve listed them below.  I hope you get to see something you missed before!

JimOnLight.com’s Top 20 Posts of 2009

From #1:

  1. Attention Lighting Designers:  You MUST Read Texas House Bill 2649
  2. JimOnLight.com’s Guide to Christmas Lights, Part 1 – History
  3. JimOnLight.com’s Guide to Christmas Lights, Part 2 – Lamp Types and Sizes
  4. Page 2 of JimOnLight.com (yeah!)
  5. PRG’s Bad Boy
  6. posts tagged with “resources”
  7. Pussy Cat Dolls – Video by Naked
  8. the JimOnLight.com contact form
  9. Texas House Bill 2649 – What You Can Do
  10. JimOnLight.com’s Guide to Christmas Lights, Part 3 – Form Factors
  11. Texas House Bill 2649 Passes
  12. posts in the LED category
  13. DIY LED Hack – Ikea Table
  14. DIY LED Monitor Backlight
  15. page 3 of JimOnLight.com (woohooo!)
  16. posts tagged with “Chris Kuroda”
  17. posts tagged with “lighting toys”
  18. Big Clive’s DIY LED Floodlight
  19. Induction Lighting – 100,000 Lamp Hours
  20. New York City’s Empire State Building Lit for the 2008 Presidential Elections

I hope I am able to do right by the awesome readers of JimOnLight.com in 2010 – thanks for an awesome 2009!

    Women In Lighting – Take THAT, Y Chromosome!

    I have a distinct memory of being 18 years old and working one of my first concerts ever as a hand, and hearing some d-bag say “women can’t climb truss – their boobs get in the way!”  That woman gave that scumbag the hardest smack I have ever heard someone get, and rightfully so.

    @EmLah from the great Twitterverse sent me a link a few days ago, and I think it is awesome. Women face unique challenges in the lighting industry and now have a place to gather online to share their experiences. Women In Lighting is a website that offers women a forum to highlight achievements by women in the lighting fields.  The site also offers job listings, resources, and industry news.

    Check out the Women In Lighting website – be supportive!

    (Thanks, Norman Rockwell!)

    Future Lighting Solutions and Altman Lighting – Spectra Par and Spectra Cyc

    Everyone knows who Altman Lighting is (at least I would hope) – you just haven’t lived if you’ve not burned the crap out of your fingers on a 360Q or 65Q fixture in your lighting lifetime.  Well, to heck with that – Altman and a company called Future Lighting Solutions have developed some 4-channel LED fixtures (RGBA) that claim to be capable of producing 281 trilion different colors.  It is rumored but not proven that the human brain can only distinguish from between 20,000 and 16 million colors, so the color combinations here are – well, they’re ridiculous.  One could say that now we have to come up with some way to upgrade the eye.

    The Spectra fixtures (both cyc and PAR) use a set of Luxeon Rebel LED engines for the RGBA system – Altman wanted to create a non-stock system that could be tailored to their needs and specs – on the shelf systems were available in limited configurations.  From a press release at Future Lighting Solutions:

    Until the release of the Spectra CYC 100 and Spectra PAR 100, however, Altman built its solid state fi xtures with off -the-shelf light engines that were available only in a limited number of confi gurations. That was the challenge the company faced in 2008 when it recognized the opportunity to use a then-new, higher output LUXEON Rebel amber LED to raise the color bar.

    “We wanted to build four-channel luminaires with the addition of amber LEDs to give lighting designers more range of dynamic colors, better color rendering, and better control in the warm color range that is a favorite in the theater for skin tones, but only RGB light engines were available,” said John T. Ryan, Director of R&D for Altman Lighting. “We realized we would have to develop our own solutions from scratch.”

    The Spectra CYC 100 unit claims to have as much output as a 1000W quartz Focusing CYC unit, with a patent-pending LED lens and asymmetrical reflector like a conventional CYC.  The Spectra PAR 100 uses interchangeable “true PAR” lenses (VNSP, NSP, MFL, and WFL) with a “scalloping effect with the medium and wide lenses that is not available from any other PAR or LED product.”

    Altman says it’s working on an RGBW (RGB+white) model as well as an outdoor model of the CYC unit.  I am interested to see some SPDs of these units – I have to see the breakdown of wavelength on these puppies!

    Thanks Kati!

    Happy Belated Birthday, André-Marie Ampère!

    Goodness gracious, who’s that dude with the big ol’ curly coiffure?!  It’s André-Marie Ampère!  HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, mang!

    Now if you had crazy hair like that and a January birthday and lived from 20 January 1775 to 10 June 1836 (his birthday was yesterday), wouldn’t you think that when you woke up each morning, you’d be like “oh yeah kids, it’s time to discover something related to electricity” and then jump straight up in the air?

    Yeah.  That’s what I would do.  First though, I’d need some gel for my hair.

    André my man here is THE GUY who we can thank for the SI unit of ampere – see the relation to his last name?  André figured out that an electrical current produces a magnetic field, and also figured out what the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field induced by electric current.  His studies were monumental in the field and theories of electrodynamics (electromagnetism), and his work is awesome.

    Okay, now what the heck is André’s amperage deal, right?  In my head, it is best understood by a river full of water.  Amperage (A, or amps, amperes - remember the SI rules for capitalization and naming) is technically the amount of electrons flowing past a point in a conductor for one second.  The conductor in this case of the river would be our river bed -it can be just a little narrow river or stream, or it can be like the Nile river or Mississippi – huge and wide and strong.  The width of the river bed is really the resistance of it – the more surface we have in the bed of the river, the more electrons will flow down the river at a point in time at one measured place.  Current, however, is constant.  Make sense?

    The really confusing thing to folks just starting to learn about amps and electricity is the idea of voltage, or electrical pressure.  If we have our river coming from a lake that is way up in the Rocky Mountains and the river connects with the bottom of that mountain of several thousand feet difference, you can imagine that the rate of flow (or current, amps) is extremely strong because there is a lot of force pushing the water down the river.  But, if I have that same big lake and a river that are on relatively the same vertical level (both in the Plains, for example) then the amount of water flowing down the river will not be a strong because there is less pressure.

    So – the slope of the river is its voltage or pressure, the amount of water that flows past a point in the river at a given time is the current or amperage, and the width of the riverbed is the resistance.  Get it?  Got it.  Faaaaantastic.

    You’re not gonna see André at Starbucks because he went to that big mathematics and physics lab in the sky in the mid-1800’s.  But – if for some reason you do, ask him if he’d mind talking to me for a podcast.  That would rock!

    Happy birthday André-Marie Ampère, you crazy dead French mathematician and physicist!

    Thanks 1PC, Wikipedia, and Hyperphysics!

    The JimOnLight.com Newsletter!

    Did you know that JimOnLight.com has an email newsletter?  Oh yeah, we have an email newsletter.

    JimOnLight.com is sending out a once (maybe twice) monthly email newsletter with highlights, stories, tidbits, and extra stuff that you won’t see on the website.  Why?  Well, why not?

    Just FYI – JimOnLight.com does not sell, trade, give, whisper, shout, or otherwise violate your email address or privacy – that’s a jerkface thing to do.  Your email address is safe with us, and with me.  So, why don’t you go sign up for the JimOnLight.com email newsletter?  I’d love to send it to you!

    A Day in The Life of Jeff Waful, LD of Umphrey’s McGee

    Talking to fellow lighting designers and seeing how they do things is one of my favorite parts of writing JimOnLight.com – just recently I had the absolute pleasure of having a nice long chat with Jeff Waful of Umprey’s McGee, and this morning I awoke to an email from Jeff about a two-part video he’s posted on his day.  From the bunk to the coffee, to the venue, to the focus, to the dinner, to the show – and then the out.  We end at the bunk again, as we always do on tourdays.

    This is a great look into the life of a rock and roll lighting designer.  It’s well worth the watch.

    Jeff, I will be buying you and Wade some drinks at some point soon.  Stay tuned.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Thanks, Jeff!

    (and for all of you people out there who thought it would be awesome to assume his last name was not pronounced like that wonderful flat thing that goes with syrup and sausage, it’s actually pronounced “waffle.”  I’d like to see a waffle light UM like this Waful does, though.)