UC Davis center uncovers light’s potential to “do something inherently different”
In its April 25, 2013 edition, Felicity Barringer of the New York Times reports:
At UC Davis, bike paths illuminated at night with a “just in time” system are designed to brighten as bicyclists approach, progressively lighting the rider’s way, and then dim back into an energy-saving mode once they have passed.
This is just one example among many others in the country that stand as evidence of the fundamental rethinking of lighting now under way in research labs and executive offices across the nation.
Michael Siminovitch, director of the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center, said that with the new and upcoming technology, “we’re going to be able to create a variety of control features in terms of how we introduce points of light in space, but we’re also going to be able to do it with planes and areas of light.”
The efforts start with energy efficiency and cost savings but go far beyond replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs. Light’s potential to heal, soothe, invigorate or safeguard people is being exploited to introduce new products and new energy-saving practices.
“This is where the promise is,” said Siminovitch. “The promise is going to be on well-being, wellness, biology — lighting starts doing something for us that is inherently different.”
Photo: Lights outside Wellman Hall at UC Davis, are designed to brighten as bicyclists approach, then dim once they have passed (Kathreen Fontecha, UC Davis)