Teresa van Dongen uses living organisms to power LED light
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Spark of Life by Teresa van Dongen

Teresa van Dongen uses living organisms to power LED light

This LED pendant by Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen is powered by living organisms that require regular feeding.

Van Dongen revisited her technique of using bacteria to create light for the new lamp, named Spark of Life.

The night light bypasses the need for a plug and is instead powered by electrochemically active bacteria.

Spark of Life by Teresa van Dongen

This bacteria, which is contained in four compartments inside the spherical lamp, constantly emit small electrical currents.

These electrical currents are captured inside an electrode, which sends the energy towards LEDs in the middle of the light.

"The living organisms are creating the light," van Dongen told Dezeen. "You need to nurture the creatures, but it's quite doable. Every two weeks you add a teaspoon of acetate to the fluid."

The designer claims this enables the light to be powered "24/7" without the need for any additional electricity.

She advises that the vessels should be cleaned and refilled with tap water, salt and vitamins every few months.

During this process, the bacteria stays put in the electrode until the clean vessels are reattached.

Spark of Life is the latest piece from Van Dongen's research into zero-electricity lighting products.

The designer, who studied biology before graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven, is planning on making it into a consumer-friendly product.

Spark of Life by Teresa van Dongen

"It's more of a work in development, because I recently discovered that the bacteria works better when you attach more LEDs per electrode," she said. "There's the possibility of enhancing the amount of light it will emit."

Van Dongen's project was on show during this year's Dutch Design Week, which took place in October. Other projects displayed at the event include a gun for firing tears and a collection of homeware made from toilet paper.