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UK Streets Might Get Mood Lighting

Heyooooo! JimOnLight’s UK correspondent here, coming at you with hot off the press news!

The conversation to dim streetlights during very low traffic levels has been initiated, and it’s causing quite a stir! The Press Association reports:

” Norman Baker, the local transport minister, supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

In a parliamentary written answer he said: “The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK’s Institute of Lighting Professionals.

“It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments.” “

The roads in question are the A roads, the major thoroughfares connecting cities which are not motorways. The Californian side of me would describe A roads as “highways,” while motorways are “freeways.” Kapeesh?

So we like saving the environment, and we like saving money. Why is this such a massive discussion?

Numerous fears including increased crime, automobile accidents, are mixed with financial worries. The conversion would cost a significant sum, and people aren’t sold on MAKIN IT RAIN!

The Telegraph reports:

“…While authorities across the UK are saving £21.5 million per year by turning off nine per cent of lights, the schemes to reduce street lighting cost a total of £106.3 million.

The bill for installing dimming technology or converting lights to part-night operations, which is five times greater than the saving, means some councils will not start seeing the benefits for up to eight years.”

This follows other UK locations, such as the Welsh county of Gwynedd have already experimented in dimming street lights between midnight and 5:30 am. There seems to be much more support of dimming street lights than turning them off. Kirklees and Derbyshire are amongst numerous experiments in turning off street lights, both completely and in selection (1 in 10 seems to be a common cutting ratio). Fears of isolation ensued.

What do you think? Turn ‘em all off and make everyone wear headlamps, selective black outs, dimming, ALL OF THE LIGHTS! @ FL or something else?

 

If you found this interesting, I also posted about the delightfully unexpected results of blue street lights in Glasgow as well as Japan here. I’m imagining these cobalt lamps as urban super heros, stopping crime and saving lives! Neato burrito.

The Lightning Fantastic, Oklahoma City, August 8, 2011

I drove back from Arlington, Texas last night.  Long story short, I left around 8pm last night, and I spent the entire three hour drive just completely enamored with the sky lighting up with huge bolts of lightning.  I remembered seeing the Trinity test video, and so many other night-based explosions in movies; the sky last night reminded me of that type of phenomenon.  So many bolts of lightning piercing the darkness, it was just like watching that scene in the newest Harry Potter when all of the folks are casting the spells over the school campus.  Overwhelming; beautiful.

(Sorry folks, I’m not a Harry Potter person, I just saw the one…)

I got home and made this video, since I was blessed AGAIN with the lack of tiredness in my body after that drive.  I took about a half hour’s worth of lightning strikes in downtown and condensed them down to about two minutes.  I hope you enjoy!  I’m a great big goofball, just be forewarned.

The Lightning Fantastic in Oklahoma City, August 8, 2011 from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

Thanks, NatGeo and Tal Bachman!

BLAZE – Laser Safety Sign Projection for Your Bicycle

Ok, first – this is so effing cool that I am excited to try to DIY my own for those times when I’m out biking in the dark.  My good buddy Erich Friend from Teqniqal Systems in the Dallas/Fort Worth area sent me the initial article about this thing below – Erich is a technology and safety consultant for our industry, and he’s one of the smartest and innovative people I know in this business.

Ok, check this thing out – so freaking cool.  This is called BLAZE, and it’s been invented by a student at the University of Brighton.

Emily Brooke is the inventor of the BLAZE unit, from a press release sent from the University of Brighton:

 

The final-year product design student said: “I wanted to tackle the issue of safety of cyclists on city streets by increasing the visibility, footprint, and ultimately the awareness of the bicycle.”

BLAZE is a small, battery-powered device that is attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters, and which projects a laser image ahead onto the road. A bright green bicycle symbol travels ahead of the cyclist, alerting others to its presence. It has the option to be flashing, maximizing perception, and the image is visible even in daylight.

Emily said: “Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them. The most common contributory factor is ‘failed to look properly’ on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets.”

She said: “Even when lit up like a Christmas tree a bicycle in a bus’s blind-spot is still invisible.

“With BLAZE, you see the bike before the cyclist and I believe this could really make a difference in the key scenarios threatening cyclists’ lives on the roads.”

The image says it all for me above – if you’re riding your bike in town, perhaps especially at night, and you get into someone’s blind spot – that’s it for that bike ride, if not any other bike ride again.  BLAZE is a product that projects a “HEY!  HEADS UP!” sign way in front of you, enough so that people will realize that they’re about to take away your birthday, so to speak.  Or “blow out your candle.”  Or “pee in your cheerios.”  Any of them.

We commend you, Emily!  Awesome innovation!

Mac Millan’s Amazing DIY Raygun Props

I am so excited to bring this to the web!  I’m even more excited to put the work of a true DIY artisan out there to the world.  All I know is that you need to hire this guy if you have something that needs done like he can do.

I want you to meet Mac Millan – I met Mac at SETC 2011 in Atlanta this year when I was judging the Student Design competition.  I was so taken with Mac’s inventions that I asked for images and video so that the JimOnLight.com Community and the world could see the skill and mastery put into these devices that Mac built.

You might see these and say STEAMPUNK – I see them and say awesome.  Makers and DIY’ers, take notice!  These raygun props are electrified, illuminated, special effect pieces of genius.  Congratulations on a great project, Mac!

From the creator’s mouth:

Ok, let’s get this out of the way.

Steampunk.

Yes, these are steampunk as hell, and while I love the aesthetics of a lot of what comes out of the steampunk culture I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about zeppelins (unless we’re talking about the sandwich, I’m always thinking about the sandwich).

Anyway, back to the matter at hand: three steampunk-as-hell rayguns. These were all built almost entirely out of found objects I had already accumulated in my apartment (I’m a packrat with expensive taste). The initial inspiration came from the silver Thor power drill seen in the smallest of the three rayguns; I inherited a similar drill from my Grandfather, and from the second I saw it I couldn’t help envisioning an art deco pistol of some sort. I purchased a duplicate to avoid destroying an heirloom, glued a photo enlarger I found on the street to the end and filled it with LEDs and flash cannons.

The second model is the orange and brown number, built on a Thor-Nado electric jackhammer purchased off Ebay in high school paired with a photo enlarger. The third is an ellipsoidal stage light and a photo enlarger salvaged from my high school. See a pattern yet? Again, the major structural components for all three were things I had lying around, I just glued and bolted them together and added blinky lights.

On the how and why: I’m a very hands-on learner, and working with my hands is how I clear my head. I wanted to learn more about motors, LEDs, lights and mechanics, so I started making rayguns. A desire to actually use some of the hundreds of pounds of industrial detritus filling my apartment may also have been involved. Specifics are for another day, but let me just say there was a lot of wire and glue involved. A LOT of glue. And let me just say, gluing a nonporous material to a nonporous material SUCKS.

Check out this video – Mac’s rayguns light up, they have smoke effects built in, and one of them fires a magic flash!

Mac Millan’s Steampunk Rayguns from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

Here’s a gallery of all of Mac’s three rayguns.  Click on a thumbnail and a gallery view will open up for you!

Daft Punk – A Visual History of Daft Punk’s Illuminated Helmets

Okay, this is just excellent.  I found this in a forum called The Daft Club – the creator’s name is Agent RayBans on that forum.  Great job, mang!

At the end of the post are the full-sized images.  Make sure to give credit where credit is due.

Agent RayBans, great work!

Here’s the first image, full size, and the second, full size.

Sarah Fox’s OLED Lighting Survey – Help Her Out, Everybody!

Good morning everyone!

So, it’s about that time of the morning where you’re probably on your Nth cup of coffee and are in need of another.  Well, that’s how it is for me, anyway!  Instead of doing that stupid Facebook survey to find out how many crazy Siberian monkeys are playing Cribbage on that northbound train into Manhattan, do a JimOnLight.com reader a favor and take her OLED Lighting in Architecture and Interior Design Survey!

Sarah Fox is almost finished with her MSc in Light and Lighting at University College in London, and she is conducting the survey for her thesis research .  Help her out, won’tcha?

While you’re at it, check out Sarah’s portfolio.  Good stuff, Sarah!

High End Systems Rocks the Face Off of Pure Volume at SXSW 2010

I was chilling with my wife and Josh Benton (you know, the guy who runs the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard) during the “Fray Cafe” event at the Red Eyed Fly at SXSW last weekend.  In comes Adam DeWitt (@xedmada) to have a beer because I posted my status on GoWalla, and all of the sudden I was on the way over to the Pure Volume venue in Austin to meet up with Craig Burross from High End Systems.

That’s like a freaking lighting nerd’s dream.  So, I walk into Pure Volume with Adam, and there is truss everywhere.  The venue has a very low ceiling, so Craig Burross and his team had installed some very interesting configurations in the club.  I was very impressed.  High End Systems, I heart you so much.

Cameron Gordon was busking as the lighting director at the venue.  Nice work, Cameron!

I know the fixture counts I have won’t be accurate – but it was a Hog III and wing, 12 ShowPix, 6 ShowGuns, and 6 Cyberlight 2’s.  Oh, and a bunch of DL3’s.  The Cyberlight 2.0 is a <expletive> fantastic fixture.  The industry needs a great scanner – Cyber 2.0 is where my money is going.  That fixture has been awesome since it was first released.  You and your huge creative brain, Richard Belliveau!

I made a little video of some of the lighting inside Pure Volume – check it out!

Jim Hutchison’s 20×2 Presentation at SXSW 2010

I have missed my blog.  I have been so incredibly busy working on a secret project to be released soon, working for CAST Software, and researching posts for JimOnLight.com.  I don’t remember being this busy, even when I was trying to light a show and write my Master’s thesis.  I hope that everyone is doing great, and that your 2010 has been stellar thus far!

This last weekend I went down to South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX – I presented at the tenth anniversary show for 20×2 – twenty speakers had two minutes to answer one question.  This year’s question was “Who Loves Ya Baby?” and there were twenty absolutely excellent presentations.  Kevin Newsum, Jeff Rider, Mark Couvillion, and Mike Stephens as MC really put on an awesome show to a standing room only house.  Gentlemen, thanks for inviting me!

I made a video presentation, rented some LED wash fixtures, pointed them up at the ceiling, and lit up the club with colored light, busking along to the presentation.  I’ve included two videos below – the first video is the actual video presentation, and the second video is of the performance itself.  Watch the first video to see the content, because the performance video is a little blossomy with the white contrast.

I hope you enjoy the videos!  That was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in the last few years!

The video presentation:

The performance video:

JimOnLight.com Happy Hour – Tonight! 6:30pm! Trinity Hall, Dallas!

You know you wanna come hang out with lighting people.  We are a unique blend.  Like a fine scotch whiskey that someone dumped battery acid into and made it stay up late after throwing it down the stairs!  The description above is for any non-lighting people who want to come hang out – if you like having light in the world, come down and have some fun!

The first of many JimOnLight.com Happy Hour gatherings!  Tonight, 6:30pm, Trinity Hall Pub (off of Mockingbird), come hang out with some like-minded folks!

Trinity Hall Pub is located just off of Mockingbird, literally next to the Mockingbird DART station – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206. Check out Trinity Hall Irish Pub’s website, those cats are cool.

COME ON DOWN!