JimOnLight.com on Kindle!


If you’re one of the cool kids who has an Amazon Kindle in hand and happens to read JimOnLight.com on that said Kindle, why not get a subscription to JimOnLight.com on your Kindle?  We got the subscription set up – it’s only $1.99 a month.  Nothing changes about the material, it’s just on a Kindle!

Check out my Recommended Reading section, and hit the link to JimOnLight.com on Amazon’s Kindle!

Happy Anniversary, Leia!

I’ve been married to my wonderful wife for two years today.

I proposed to her on top the Reunion Tower in Dallas, where we went on our first date.

She puts up with my crap on a daily basis and never seems to hate me.

She’s my best friend, and she’s on my mind in everything I do.  She picks me up when I’m down, and listens to my incessant fascination with everything in the lighting industry – of which she has nothing to do with.  My wife rocks.

I love you, Leia!  Happy Two-Year Anniversary!

leia and jim

Sunday JimOnLight.com Flickr Pool Post

I have neglected the Flickr Pool post for a handful of Sundays.  I am sorry about that, everything has been super busy!

I chose 8 images, and narrowed it down to three for this week’s post.  Lexi has a photo blog (the upward facing face) that I read regularly, BazPics is always posting beautiful stuff, and Luca Pierro is a very talented photographer. Check their work out!

it rained today (229/365) by sea legs snapshots

it rained today (229/365)

1 MAJU by Luca Pierro

Too Blue for You

too blue for you by Baz Pics

too blue for you

Sunday Morning and Graduation Thoughts

I’m in Columbus, OH doing a show for a month – even though it’s not quite time for The Ohio State University isn’t having graduation ceremonies this weekend, they’re not too far away.  The buzz of people graduating and leaving the University for bigger and better endeavours, or embarking on a new degree journey is thick in the air.  It’s a possibility that it is also just the Midwestern humidity that I have forgotten about despising a lot, having lived in it my whole life.

No, definitely the buzz of graduating, definitely.

No matter what level of education you’re completing this school year – if you’re graduating soon, I would like to wish you my best of luck and success in your endeavours.  This is a very exciting time we’re having right now, go at it full bore.  Try not to let our crappy economy right now drag your self-esteem down, just fight hard for what you want to accomplish.

I am sure that I can come up with two million pieces of advice to share, but I’ll share two.  If any readers would like to leave a piece of advice for graduating people in the comments, I (and they, I am sure) would be thrilled!


  1. Until you get the hang of it, always double-check your photometrics math.
  2. Never decide to learn what the Hog’s “pig” key and the release key do when pressed simultaneously during a show, ever.

Please leave your advice in the comments!  Congratulations, graduates!

Hoop, Pool, and Loop

I ran across these three fixtures being carried by Generate – they’re LED fixtures that diffusly glow and light up the room. There is something about the way these fixtures appear that makes me think of Dan Flavin for some reason. From what I understand, this is a limited run; 75 pieces of each model are available only.

Check out the Hoop:



The Pool:



Last but not least, the Loop:



Light Tree: Plug-In Lightlight

Ixiqi.com just posted an article about a little nightlight-esque light tree thing – It’s an interesting little lamp of sorts that plugs into both 110V and 220V systems.  Funny enough, the little pot accessory that the Light Tree comes with looks like it adapts it down to 110.  Interesting.  I could see one of these sitting on my desk, but I never seem to have any empty slots on my power strips.

light tree

light tree

light tree

Tenori Pop

tenori pop

What do you get when you put projection technology and some sort of movement-sensing, artificial intelligence device of some sort together?  Why, you get advertising, of course!  What were you expecting?

Created by NTT IT as an interactive art piece, Tenori Pop was created by NTT IT, a Japanese firm.  It’s an interesting concept – I wonder what this would be like in large scale – think a coliseum sized venue.  Can’t you see someone coming up with a high-output projection advertisement at a ballgame or concert that lights up the undulating crowd with Coke and hotdog ads?  Of course you can.

Check out this video:

Thanks, CScout!

First Solar Flare of the Cycle

Scientists think they have seen the first solar flare of this solar cycle – tracked with the STEREO satellite (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) and the people at NASA, we’ve seen the first flare of solar cycle 24.  This is significant because cycle 23 was a remarkably uneventful cycle, and I suppose that scientists watching the events are pretty darned bored after a boring cycle!

From an article at the NASA site for STEREO:

The active region appears well above the sun′s equator, at about 30 degrees latitude, which indicates it is part of the new solar cycle. Activity from the previous solar cycle would appear nearer to the sun′s equator. These regions also have a distinct magnetic organization characteristic of new cycle regions.

″This is a really exciting opportunity to observe the first major outbreak of solar activity in Solar Cycle 24,″ says Joseph Gurman, the newly named project scientist for STEREO at Goddard Space Flight Center. Gurman officially takes the helm from current project scientist Michael Kaiser on June 1.

The last years of Solar Cycle 23 marked the longest and deepest solar minimum in 100 years. Its unusually small number of active regions and sunspots have led some impatient space-weather watchers to wonder if we were entering another ″Maunder minimum.″ That period, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, saw few, if any, sunspot regions, and coincided with the deepest part of the ″Little Ice Age″ of global cooling.

If you can’t see the flare on the video, watch the upper left-hand quadrant of the sun during the video.  You’ll see a dark spot go whooshing through the glowing green aura like someone blowing a breath of air through smoke.  Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks, NASA!

The World’s Smallest Incandescent Lamp


The world’s smallest incandescent lamp has been created. And I don’t mean that they’ ve created a little mini table lamp that has a little red shade and a tiny, tiny pull string either.

Scientists at UCLA Physics and Astronomy have created an incandescent lamp with a single carbon nanotube that’s 100 atoms long.  How on EARTH did they get 100 atoms stuck together?  Do you need wee little needle-nose pliers?


But all tomfoolery aside, this little tiny incandescent lamp has some interesting properties.  The little filament inside the lamp is so very small that it allows scientists to study it as both a quantum mechanical molecular model, but large enough in scale that it can still be applied to the laws of thermodynamics.  Do you know what Planck’s Law is?  It’s a measure of the amount of all wavelengths of light that are emitted from a black-body radiator at a given temperature.  Don’t puke:
It’s quantum physics stuff.  Alas, let’s just read the press release, shall we?

In an effort to explore the boundary between thermodynamics and quantum mechanics – two fundamental yet seemingly incompatible theories of physics – a team from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy has created the world’s smallest incandescent lamp.

The team, which is led by Chris Regan, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, and includes Yuwei Fan, Scott Singer and Ray Bergstrom, has published the results of their research May 5 in the online edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Thermodynamics, the crown jewel of 19th-century physics, concerns systems with many particles. Quantum mechanics, developed in the 20th century, works best when applied to just a few. The UCLA team is using their tiny lamp to study physicist Max Planck’s black-body radiation law, which was derived in 1900 using principles now understood to be native to both theories.

Planck’s law describes radiation from large, hot objects, such as a toaster, the Sun or a light bulb. Some such radiation is of fundamental and current scientific interest; the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang, for instance, which is called the cosmic microwave background, is described by Planck’s law.

The incandescent lamp utilizes a filament made from a single carbon nanotube that is only 100 atoms wide. To the unaided eye, the filament is completely invisible when the lamp is off, but it appears as tiny point of light when the lamp is turned on. Even with the best optical microscope, it is only just possible to resolve the nanotube’s non-zero length. To image the filament’s true structure, the team uses an electron microscope capable of atomic resolution at the Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines (EICN) core lab at CNSI.

With less than 20 million atoms, the nanotube filament is both large enough to apply the statistical assumptions of thermodynamics and small enough to be considered as a molecular – that is, quantum mechanical – system.

“Our goal is to understand how Planck’s law gets modified at small length scales,” Regan said. “Because both the topic (black-body radiation) and the size scale (nano) are on the boundary between the two theories, we think this is a very promising system to explore.”

The carbon nanotube makes an ideal filament for this experiment, since it has both the requisite smallness and the extraordinary temperature stability of carbon. While the intensive study of carbon nanotubes only began in 1991, using carbon in a light bulb is not a new idea. Thomas Edison’s original light bulbs used carbon filaments.

The UCLA research team’s light bulb is very similar to Edison’s, except that their filament is 100,000 times narrower and 10,000 times shorter, for a total volume only one one-hundred-trillionth that of Edison’s.

My guess is that we”ll hear about these again.

iLight Triumphs in iLight vs. Fallon Luminous Products

Did you hear about this?  From iLight’s press release (fyi, it’s a PDF link):

Chicago, IL – May 7, 2009 – iLight Technologies, Inc. (www.ilight-tech.com), a leader in innovative LED lighting solutions, is pleased to announce that on April 30, 2009, a jury in Federal Court unanimously found that Fallon Luminous Products Corporation willfully infringed multiple claims in three iLight patents. The jury also unanimously confirmed that those claims of iLight’s patents were not invalid, as Fallon had contended.

The jury concluded that iLight was entitled to a multi-million dollar award of compensatory damages. As a result of the jury’s finding of willful infringement by Fallon, the judge increased the amount of damages awarded by the jury by $1 million. The Court issued an injunction order prohibiting Fallon and all acting in concert with Fallon from using, manufacturing, importing, or selling any of Fallon’s infringing LED products.

In this case, iLight Technologies sued Fallon for infringing three iLight patents directed to certain ways of simulating cold cathode or neon lighting using, among other things, light emitting diodes (LEDs).   iLight’s patented technology enables an illumination product to have both the extensive benefits of LEDs (low energy usage, long life, durability, etc.), and the very visually striking appearance of cold cathode or neon lighting. This patented lighting technology has become particularly important as the world moves away from older lighting systems to state-of-the-art solid state lighting systems in order to obtain the advantages that this newer, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient lighting technology offers.

“Since its inception, iLight has invested significant resources in developing and delivering unique and leading-edge LED lighting technologies for our customers,” stated Mark Cleaver, Founder and Chairman. “While Fallon argued that it used a different lighting approach in its LED signage products from that disclosed and claimed in iLight’s patents, the jury unanimously agreed that Fallon’s lighting approach infringed iLight’s patents. The jury’s decision affirmed our belief in the considerable breadth of iLight’s patented illumination technology.”