Movie: chief design officer for Philips Lighting Rogier van der Heide explains how advances in LED technology are enabling lighting to be integrated into the surfaces of building materials and fabrics.
"I believe that lighting has never been so exciting as it is now," says van der Heide in the movie, which was commissioned by Philips. "With the LED we can really put light into materials. We can make a ceiling glow or we can make a wall with imagery on it."
We interviewed van der Heide at Philips' stand at the Light + Building 2014 trade show in Frankfurt, where the Dutch electronics company showcased a number of products with luminous surfaces, including OneSpace, a new ceiling system that was launched at the show.
"OneSpace is a ceiling panel, which consists of a tensile fabric that is illuminated from above in a very homogenous way by some very clever positioning of the lights and using optics," van der Heide explains. "It doesn't have a standard size - we'll make it the size you need it. I think that level of customisation and collaboration with architects is what makes the difference between good lighting and really great lighting."
Other products on show included Philips' range of luminous textiles, in which programmable LED pixels flash in patterns behind fabrics produced by Danish textile company Kvadrat, as well as a light transmissive carpet system that features woven LEDs.
"The carpet we developed together with a company from Holland called Desso," van der Heide explains. "We added light to it; we have pixels in the carpet that can guide you through a space or create very interesting patterns."
Because the product looks like a normal carpet when the LEDs are off, van der Heide says it can be used to incorporate health and safety signage inconspicuously into a building interior.
"[When the LEDs turn on] in an emergency, they can lead you quickly to the exit," he says. "These are very important applications that add a lot of new value to what light is in a building."
Van der Heide believes that as LEDs continue to get smaller and more efficient, their integration into textiles and building materials will become the norm.
"The brightness of materials is becoming something we can specify," he says. "An architect will soon specify not just the strength, colour and finish of a material, but also its luminosity."
The music featured in the movie is a track called Everything Everywhere Once Was by British producer 800xL. You can listen to more music by 800xL on Dezeen Music Project.
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