Color Magic

Everyone has a “colorful” dream. With the technology of staining technology, people achieved the dream of mixing different colors to get  their favorite color, however, it’s only for the solid or liquid pigment. What about the light? We have designed a set of “light palette” that enables people to mix colorful light together and get the customized color as they like. With the technology of RGB LED, we achieve the dream of mixing the color of light, finally.

Designer: Gonglue Jiang, Yuan Zhan

Date: May 2011

Patent: Yes

Award:  KOIZUMI Lighting Competition Bronze Prize

100 seconds video:

Initial thoughts:

In the nature, different colors can be mixed into a new color with pigment. What about other materials?

The light might be the hardest “material” to mix together and especially for our physical lamps.

The RGB LED technology allows us to realize this dream to mix the color of lights.


I have tested several technologies. First of all, it’s easy to think about RFID. Each lamp has one RFID tag to present its color nature and at the same time, has one RFID receiver to get to know other lamps ID close to it. But after testing, I met a problem that the RFID receivers will interfere each other when they are closer than the working range. But if they are beyond this range, it’s impossible to sense the RFID tags which also attached to each of the lamps. Hence, I gave up the RFID proposal.

Secondly, I thought about infrared light. But after testing, I found that the infrared light is not very stable and accurate since the working environment may vary from bright to dark light. And also the changing light of the lamp itself may interfere the signal I/O from infrared light and sensor.

Finally I found another technology called “Hall Effect” sensor, which using the magnetic field for output and input. The sensor will change the resistance while the magnetic field changes. Also, the hall effect sensors and magnets are much cheaper and smaller than other technologies, like RFID.

The testing of magnet and hall effect sensor:

Structure design of the lamp.

In order to have some scattering effect, we designed the structure into layers instead of one piece facade. Each layer are different and has waving effect inside.

The manufacture process:

The supporting structure of electronics is designed as a “one piece” shell, without any glue, screw or other adhesive material. All the electronics are automatically fixed and locked inside the whole structure.

We met a problem that after stacking many layers, the structure was not vertically straight. So we used the building technology to laser cut calibrating holes on each layers and then used four rigid strings to cross over all the layers.

For the inside structure, initially we would have to have 56 pieces of wire inside to connect all the sensors and LED lights. It may affect the lighting effect a lot since the LEDs are in the very middle of atrium. So we used the same technology to build 10 “guiding” conducted rigid wires and used splitting structure to ensure all the wires were separate.


Final effect of lighting

The mix of green and blue color.

Mix of blue and red color

Mix of green and red color

The mix of three color together, and the linear change of mixing.

Different iterations of color mixing.

The effect of scattering.

The effect of scattering in other lamps.

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