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Vintage Power and Light: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Tungsten Since Edison!

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If you’ve been to an architectural lighting, entertainment lighting, or decorative lighting trade show lately, you should notice an interesting trend:  the lack of attention to incandescent light sources.  The light emitting diode has overtaken the world, and like myself, I miss the days of the warm tungsten filament in a room, bathing everything in its reach with a wider spectrum of color than its LED counterparts.  Tungsten filaments, at least decoratively, have become the fine wine of our lighting generation – only those with the intelligence and artistic knowledge in using tungsten and other incandescent sources have continued to do so.  The rest of the world is convinced, at the behest of excellent marketing and often regardless of price, that LED illumination is not only the way of the future but also today’s only way to appropriately design lighting.

It’s a fact that in many applications, including modern high bay methodologies and architectural applications, LED light sources are winning hearts and minds over their higher-energy-consuming incandescent cousins.  Sooner than later we’re going to see higher output automated fixtures giving their HID counterparts a run for their money, too.  ETC’s LED Source Four ellipsoidal, Chauvet’s Ovation LED ellipsoidal, Altman Lighting’s ME3 ellipsoidal, and Robert Juliat’s Tibo and Zep LED profiles have taken the market by storm – and have begun pushing back on the use of tungsten-halogen sources, arc sources, and even halogen sources!

On the whole, energy costs when dealing with a large facility or venue are where LED and non-incandescent sources make a monster difference in energy costs.  But what about where energy costs are negligible, like in your home?  If saving comparatively a few dollars here and there in your home is less important than the feeling and artistic appreciation that something like an incandescent lamp brings to you, can you put a price on your happiness?  I’ve owned many a compact fluorescent lamp-based fixture in my home, and frankly I replace every single CFL with its halogen or incandescent counterpart.  It’s my decision, and I do what makes my eyes and my brain happy.

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On that thought, I introduce to you the work of Vintage Power and Light out of Austin, Texas – creator Lowell Fowler (of High End Systems fame) has started a new hobby art venture based on utilizing the beauty and intrigue of vintage lighting and electrical equipment tied with the warm glow of incandescent sources.  Even better than just the sexiness of a glowing filament structure, Vintage Power and Light takes the beauty of an Edison filament wrap source and melds it to gorgeous finished old-world wood components, then adds stunning copper and brass connections and controls.  My favorite parts of Vintage Power and Light’s work are their use of Consolidated Design glass insulators – there is nothing quite like a multi-petticoat glass insulator on a fixture with an artistic incandescent filament turning that glass into a mystical piece of glowing jewelry.  GAH!  This stuff is amazing!!!

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Lowell and York Fowler have put an interesting new spin on the idea of Steampunk-esque design by bringing old-world components and combining them with early 20th century incandescence.  The result is a stunning and refreshing take on using incandescence as not only an artistic statement, but a comfortable, familiar, and heartwarming addition to your house, office, or anywhere else that LEDs just don’t cut it.

Check out a series of gallery images below, click on any image for a light box of that gallery for your perusal!
Just make sure that you give credit where credit is due, and all of these photos are courtesy of Vintage Power and Light with photography by Tim Grivas.

First things first, Vintage Power and Light’s Table Lamps:

Vintage Power and Light’s Chandelier and Pendant series:

Got a Steampunk jones?  Vintage Power and Light does that too!

Last but not least, a gorgeous offering of sconces for your collection:

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JimOnLight says HELL YES to Vintage Power and LightAwesome offerings, guys!  We hope that the whole world sees your work and loves it as much as we do!

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The Daily Lamp – Spin Light, from Lucie Koldová

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Lucie has a skill that not a lot of people possess — she has more brain power than most, and her work represents her inner and outer beauty.

For the firm Lasvit, Lucie pulled out a remnant from her childhood (well, most of our childhoods, really) — the spinning top.  Lucie took the idea of the top and turned it into a light that would look awesome anywhere.  That, my friends, is probably why Lasvit wanted it.

From the product page for Spin Light:

Small, medium and large transparent pendants multiplied. Spin light’s expression of dynamics is based on a simple rotational form resembling a child’s toy known as the spinning top or the silhouettes of whirling dervishes. It gives the lights a basic graphic impression. Clear transparent airy lamps with a touch of color on top are powered by small LED efficient discs which highlighting strong silhouettes and let them float freely in the space as empty volumes.

I think it is gorgeous.  Check it out, and check out Lucie Koldova’s other work — well worth the view!

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Check out more of The Daily Lamp on JimOnLight!

How It’s Made – Optical Lenses

Yet another very interesting process installment of the How It’s Made series – the creation of optical lenses for cameras and photographic equipment.  this process is pretty complicated and awesome.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did – I have been learning new stuff all week!

Check it out:

Another interesting video, this one from Kodak:

and this video, on lenses and types, is just fun:

How It’s Made – Neon Signs (She’s Always Buzzing Just Like…)

I’m telling you, I found a metric crap-ton of these How It’s Made videos relating to light and the lighting industries.  Me and my addictive personality! (SHUT UP, GUYUTE)

It is stunning to watch this man in the video work with the glass tube – it is truly an art.  I learned to work with glass in undergraduate school at a glassblowing studio in rural Illinois – a pool of glass in its molten state is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Check out the video – very cool!

Happy Birthday, InLight Gobos!

Wha – who – HEY!  Is that InLight Gobos?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, InLight Gobos!

Today is the 9th birthday of InLight Gobos, the brainchild of Rick Hutton.  You know Rick, right?  If you’ve ever used a VL5, you know Rick.  He’s one of the brains that made Vari*Lite what it is, and he developed the VL5.  He is, in all aspects of the word, a true geek – and an awesome dude.

Rick and his lovely wife Adriana (and avid Words with Friends player who is constantly whipping me at that game) run InLight Gobos – their shop is in Dallas, and they make the best freaking glass gobos in the business.  That’s a fact.  Their gobos are the thinnest glass gobos in the business – 1.7mm thick – and the process they use puts the image all into one plane so there is no fuzzy crappy focus when you throw it into a fixture.

InLight Gobos’ services, from the website:

  • Custom and Catalog Glass Gobos – Full Color, Greyscale and Black and White
  • Custom Metal Gobos – Custom metal in any size
  • Wedding Gobos – Design you own special gobo for your special day
  • DiGiGOBOS® – Royalty free digital content in SD and HD formats
  • GAM on GLASS™ – Any GAM pattern can be produced in glass for extended use
  • Rent-A-Gobo™ – Short term glass gobo rental program
  • Laser Marking – Laser engraving service for gobo ring identification
  • Artwork Service – Artwork creation or help service

InLight Gobos is doing some pretty cool stuff.  You know this gobo, yeah?  It’s stock on PRG’s Bad Boy:

Yeah.  That’s all Rick and InLight.  I love that freaking gobo!  I just want to cover a room in those!  InLight Gobos are finding their way all over the place, and have been for a while – they were at E3 recently in the Nintendo booth, people are spec’ing them all over the place for projects, and recently Rick and Adriana started doing custom wedding gobos!

InLight Gobos is also on Twitter – make sure you’re following @InLightGobos!

From the InLight Gobos website:

Their catalogue is pretty great – I highly recommend checking it out.  They do full color gobos, greyscale, and pure black and white – custom or stock.  Check out the InLight Gobos catalogue here, and prepare to be impressed.  Rick also had a cool idea that he’s implemented into a service – gobo rental!  InLight Gobos has a Rent-A-Gobo program with a select group of their stock patterns, all glass.  Definitely check it out.

I have to show you some of my favorites from the InLight Gobos collection – these are some official JimOnLight.com favorites:

Liquid

Shocking

Jungle

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On the history of the company:

InLight Gobos opened its doors on August 1st, 2002 with a simple mission to bring the best quality glass gobos at a competitive price to the lighting and entertainment industries. This mission still stands today. Over the years we have continued to bring new programs and innovations to the industry. Our partnership with Beacon SSR Stage Light AB in Sweden allows us to produce the thinnest full color gobos in the market. We continue to work closely with Beacon to improve our processes and the quality of our products. Our customers and employees are the most important assets we have, therefor we strive to continually improve all aspects of our business. We are always open to suggestions to  improve our operation and fulfill your needs.

InLight Gobos, JimOnLight.com thinks you are outstanding.

LDI 2009: SeaChanger’s Booth

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One of my favorite booths this year was SeaChanger’s booth.  Besides the fact that they have a great product and are using the LIFI lamp like rockstars, SeaChanger had their standard setup – Eileen Morris (gourmet chef and wife of Tom Morris at SeaChanger) cooked those of us at the conference some of the finest food I’ve ever eaten.  Most definitely the best omelet I’ve ever eaten.

The entire booth was lit by plasma sources – I have completely forgotten the percentage that Tom Stanziano gave me about how much less power the SeaChanger booth was using by having plasma lamps in their fixtures – but at least 30% less comes to mind.  The light from these LIFI sources and the SeaChanger optics is pretty stunning.  The booth itself is set up like a kitchen show – broadcast camera feeds to plasma screens, showing how nice the light appears on camera.

Quite frankly, it is a damned beautiful light.

Okay – omelets, Grand Marinier whipped creme on crepes, the SeaChanger color engine, and the LIFI lamp.  This was a good combination for LDI 2009 for me!

I have some really interesting stuff coming up about SeaChanger this week – you have to stay tuned, especially if you like glass color filters…

Check out some images of SeaChanger’s LDI 2009 exhibit:

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That’s my hand, and it’s resting on the cooling fins of the SeaChanger below using a LIFI lamp.  Awesome.

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SeaChanger Wash:

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Look!  It’s a Nautilus, a Profile, and a Wash!

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Thanks for the omelet, Eileen!

Luke Jerram’s Glass Infectious Diseases

My friend Carla sent me an interesting article about some work that Luke Jerram is doing.  Luke is an artist and research fellow in the UK at the University of Southampton – he has an exhibit open right now, called “Plant Orchestra.”

The article chronicled a few of his works from a previous installation – one of them really caught my eye.  Luke’s work called “Glass Microbiology” was in an article with a few of his other works – the glass pieces he created for this work are beautiful.  They catch the light in such odd ways, obviously from shape:  Luke’s collection is a glass representation of several really nasty infectious diseases – H1N1, E. coli, HIV, SARS – you know, the fun ones!

Check these out:

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Smallpox
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Smallpox, a virus that Luke dreamed up, and HIV:
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An article at Seed Magazine had a story about Luke and his work – check it out!  From the article, about “Glass Microbiology”:

For “Glass Microbiology,” Jerram worked with University of Bristol virologist Andrew Davidson and took inspiration from high-resolution electron microscopic images, creating large, painstakingly accurate glass sculptures of notorious viruses and bacteria such as HIV, E. coli, SARS, and recently, H1N1. Jerram’s H1N1 sculpture was just accepted permanently into the Wellcome Collection in London and loaned to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo for exhibition in January. What started as a question of science communication turned into an interplay between the beautiful and dangerous, as well as a reflection on the limits of scientific understanding.

“When I ask virologists how exactly RNA is packed into a virus, well, the answer is that they just don’t know. Most viruses are right at the edges microscopy capabilities,” Jerram says. “So scientists have take a leap—from what they can see to what they know about chemical interactions.” Renderings of these microbes, as with many constructs throughout science, are a jigsaw puzzle of direct observation and predictions. “It’s important to explore these boundaries and limitations,” he says.

If that wasn’t interesting enough, check this out:

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From Luke’s website – about Interpretation Figure, the work above:

The performance and photographic artwork was commissioned by Enable to be used as a logo for Electric Pavilion.

The figure has been interpreted as an angel, city spirit, alien and hoax.  How might this figure be interpreted in other cities and countries around the world? The Bristol Evening Post helped promote the myth before withdrawing their support on grounds that they weren’t telling the truth.

A DIY Glass Block LED Display

I love do-it-yourself lighting – every time I read an article about someone who has wired up some LEDs in an interesting configuration with a homemade controller, I just get all giggly and stupid.  I’m always sketching diagrams and ideas for luminaires – I am hoping that I am able to take the Luminaire Design course here in the Spring so I can expunge some of these ideas from my melon.

I read an article at Make about Dave Vondle’s DIY LED display wall – Dave wired up a bunch of LED sources behind a glass block wall on his block in Chicago, on Logan Square.  Dave had to take it down, which is a shame, but he documented the project very well.  Great project, Dave!

Check out Dave’s very well documented project page at IDEO Labs, the video, and images below:

Glass Block LED Wall Display from IDEO Labs on Vimeo.

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Thanks, Make!

Lindsey Adelman and Glass Light

I’ve written about Lindsey’s work once before lately – I just saw a post at Design Sponge talking about a few of her pieces, and announcing a show coming up for Lindsey this weekend.  Lindsey is going to be at booth #1942 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC this weekend.  Check out a few pieces of her work:

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Also, Lindsey’s Adelman studio website has great images of her work, too.

Tear Drops from Tokujin Yoshioka’s Eyes

I have really enjoyed the weird oversimplification of products that has been going on in design lately.  Swedish designers have been producing some really beautiful work, and I’ve been very impressed with what is coming from Japan lately as well.  A good example of this is Tokujin Yoshioka’s “Tear Drops.”  Check out a few images:

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That glass cut is beautiful.  I had to look at that first image for a long time – I couldn’t pull my eyes from it.  It’s a glass glob with a lamp inside – does that thing not look completely mesmerizing to anyone else?  I love the way it looks when it’s off almost as much as when it’s on.  I would love one of these lamps.

Wow, was that too many compliments?  I really like this.  Tokujin created this for the retailer Yamagawa.  They’ve got a pretty cool website, actually.

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Thanks, DesignBoom!