Lets light up the future with a bit more hope


  1. A team of undergraduates at the University of Cambridge observed the
    living beings than glow naturally in the dark and developed genetic tools
    that allow bioluminescence features to be transferred into an organism.
    This study suggests that one day you could walk down the street, but instead of it being lit up by harmful globes it is beautifully illuminated by these glowing trees that not only serve as a source of light but an aesthetic symbol and mood changer.


  1. Traditionally, city authorities use a variety of light globes to illuminate the streets, but these sources are not very efficient, and consume a lot of electricity. Instead of using light poles with LED installed, they sought to make the trees themselves grow. In fact, they created a bio-luminescent plant.

The group says that this could be used to make luminescent trees, which would line the side of the road at night. The main advantage to this would be that the herb could be planted anywhere. 
Additionally, the plant does not need any source of energy to operate, as it derives its energy from the soil and the Sun. The group is now working on improving the performances of its system.

DESIGN CASE 1: Phillips Bio-light

The bio-light is a concept that uses different biological technologies
 to create ambient light effects. It explores the use of bioluminescent bacteria,
which are fed with methane and composted material. Alternatively the cellular
 light array can be filled with fluorescent proteins that emit different frequencies of light.

As part of Phillips Microbial Home project, Philips set about designing a natural lighting system based on biological processes, which turned into this quite beautiful structure, the bio-light.

The system uses bioluminescent bacteria that feed on methane and composted material to produce a soft green light, not all that different from the light emitted by fireflies and red tide.

The bacteria is housed in a wall of hand-blown glass cells and connected to a food source at the base through thin silicon tubes.
The Bio-light could be “powered on” as long as there were a supply of nutrients, but the resulting light isn’t bright enough to illuminate an entire room. Instead, Philips sees the Bio-light as more of an ambient light source, as well as a way to power night-time road markings, warning strips for planes and stairs, and more.


­­­BIOLUMINESCENCE – Bioluminescent Organisms


Edith Widder combines her expertise in research and technological innovation with a commitment to stopping and reversing the degradation of our marine environment. Some 80 to 90 percent of undersea creatures make light — and we know very little about how or why. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder explores this glowing, sparkling, luminous world, sharing glorious images and insight into the unseen depths of the ocean.

Specialist in bioluminescence, Edith Widder helps to design and invent submersible machines and instruments that allow her to study and discover bioluminescence life forms and organisms.

In her study, Edith discusses the importance of bioluminescent life forms and how the science behind their emission of light can help improve systems here on earth, for e.g. she talks about how we can alter a trees DNA to make it be able to emit light.


Throughout my research on bioluminescent organisms

and objects, I found that this was an area of science
that could be greatly beneficial to creating a sustainable
future. Not only are the recent discoveries extraordinary
they are quite impressive and aesthetically beautiful. Just the thought of having glowing trees on our streets at night reminds me of the movie avatar – simply stunning. However, there are many people that could benefit from growing bioluminescent plants, especially those whose homes are not wired up to the grid.

There seem to be no flaws to the creation of a bioluminescent plant: they light pollution but third world countries that are not able to produce power for light, cannot break, and if you need more light, you simply grow more of them. The team researching bioluminescent properties calculated that in order for a bioluminescent tree to replace streetlight, it would have to divert only 0.02% of the energy absorbed for photosynthesis, into light production. That’s near zero and almost 100% fully sustainable. Other alternatives to producing bioluminescent light were bio lights, which absorb methane and compost material. Although these are a lovely alternative for a modern take on the matter, they still provide a lot more maintenance and cost money to manufacture.

So is there anything wrong with? After all the research I’ve put into it I can’t pinpoint any major problems or errors. Probably the most prominent issue with the research is that it costs money to manufacture and conduct these kinds of tests. However, with minimal funding scientists are able to manipulate the cells to incorporate into plant life and other living organisms such as mice for example.

Realistically I believe this sort of microbiology will be seen in the near future, and not only for cities but third world countries who may not be able to produce power for lights.

In conclusion design cases 1 and 3 demonstrated and effective solution to an alternative light source. With the right amount of funding this new source of microbiology could be implemented effectively within the next 10 years and the maximum. 


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