Light and Interactivity #Final_1

During the light observation assignments this semester, I observe many stunning moments when fog or mist diffused the light. I am obsessed with the fog and I really want to use that for my final assignment. 

I did some research and decided to use ultrasonic fog maker to generate the mist, which is more sustainable and safer. I want to use a glowing geometric shape inside the fog, similar to the above pictures.

One thing I am still experimenting with is the light source and the interaction. I bought so EL panel and wires. 


With EL wires, I can easily make the shape I like, and it is waterproof, but I have much less control over the EL wires. 

For the actual piece, I want to have a clear rectangle box and place the water and ultrasonic fogger at the bottom. Then, hang my neon like the moon from above.


Light Observation#6

This picture was taken in Sanya, China. Due to the wind, the water is moving and create this caustic reflection at the bottom of the swimming pool. According to the Wiki, this is called rippling caustic reflection which ” are commonly formed when light shines through waves on a body of water.” Since the water waves are constantly moving therefore, the pattern of the light and shadow is also changing all the time, which is really interesting.

Observation #interior

I found many restaurants have interesting and nice lighting, especially those fine dining restaurants. There are lights to brighten the overall areaUsually, the overall brightness is controlled at a lower level to create a sense of privacy, but bright enough so that customers are able to see each other and communicate. Also there are usually some directional lights or even some spotlight to highlight the table, which make the presentation of the dishes really stands out, and also make custmer earsiler to see their dishes. 

Another interesting is, the culture difference can also be obsevered through restaurant dining. In chinese restaurant, people are used to shared foods, therefor, the center of the table are usually lightend up, which you can see in the pictures I took. However, in most of western restaurant, foods are not shared, so the lighting is focus on the plates in front of each guests.

Light and Interactivity # Light Fixture

Infinity Crystal Cave

Nianqi and I really like the infinity mirror, therefore we decided to make an infinity mirror light fixture.


The hardest part for us isn’t creating the infinity mirror effect, but find a good diffuser to diffuse led strip in a tiny space.

We tried frosted acrylic, fabric, wool, slim and somehow we walked into a candy shop and got some candies, which turned out to be great diffuser for our projects. We tried gummy bear and crystal-like candies.

Since we have around 62 neon pixels, we get a 5V 2 amp adapter to power the strip.

The interaction is very straightforward. We want to surprise people, so we turned off all the lights and hide the crystal cave. Therefore, When people are far away, they will just saw a mirror, but when getting closer, the Crystal Cave will light up and become brighter or dimmer depends on the distance.


Light and Interactivity Observation Post#3

The picture was taken right outside the Tisch Building. The natural lighting is dramatic. Since the sun is almost right above the head, the shadow is close to the objects. Also, the right half of the street is in dark, since the buildings blocked the sunlight. The strong contrast is much more obvious in the camera. The difference between what I observe with my eyes and the picture is also interesting. Since I tried to avoid overexposing the sky, the shadow area seems much darker. However, in order to avoid underexposure, the sky would have been overexposed.

Light Observation #2


The picture was taken at night. The sky is very dark. The smog comes out of ground diffused the bright street light. The smog is very close to the street light and the light is very direct, so that makes the street light look like when the sun hides behind the cloud. The bottom part of the smog is slightly red, which is reflecting the traffic light behind.


Light and Interactivity #2 Electronic Candle


When I was observing the candlelight, the flickering effect is very interesting. The upper flame is more yellow, the middle is red, and the bottom is blue. The flickering usually is caused by the air.

So my process is to have two states of the candle, the first state is when the candle is burning without interruption, and the second state is when the flaming is flickering. The first state will be brighter,  red and more consistent, the second state will be darker, yellow and last shorter.

I was trying to imply the Perlin noise to change the hue of the color between yellow and red. However, the difference between these twocolorsr is fairly small. Therefore, I use few random functions.

70% chance the candle will be in the first state, and 30% in the second state. Also, I used random() and delay() to create the complexity of shifting between two states. And The first state will delay from 20 ms to 50ms, and second state will only delay 2ms to 10ms. I want to add complexity to the behavior of the candle switching between the two states.



Light and Interactivity #1 Fading LED

I choose to use the sin wave to let LED fade. I was really confused about what the amplitude should be. I set the amplitude to 255, which I thought is the peak of the wave. The LED did fade but in a really weird way. After reading the post below, I realized that the amplitude should only be half of 255, since I moved the whole curve up by half of 255. In order to the make the maximum of the sin wave 255, and the minimum 0, the amplitude has to be half of the amplitude. 

Here is the reference I found really helpful.

Fading LEDs with sine wave


I planned to control multiple LED instead of change only LED. I wanted to recreated a wave like LEDs fading pattern. To begin with, I added more LEDs.


I explored with the sin wave function, and delay() and etc. I found out the easiest way to create the pattern I want is to add a delay in time for each LEDs. In other words, I shifted the x values of each LED. I really like the pattern. To have more control, I want to change the delay.



Here is the final version. I use a paper towel roll and a piece of matt white plastic sheet to make this diffuser.



Candle flame is constantly moving due to the air. The movement is like water wave. Although, the movement is random, but the shaping have a correlation to its surrounding. As the light source is constantly flickering, the shadow is also flickering. The room is dark, and the candle is very close the cake, therefore, the shadow the cake edge is very shape.