How Digital Innovation Is Changing How We Experience Light [Future of Light]

How Digital Innovation Is Changing How We Experience Light [Future of Light]

Digital lighting technologies like LED offer completely new uses and applications of light.

Philips Lighting
  • 9 october 2013

As digital technologies find their way into nearly every facet of modern life, it is becoming clear that we are only beginning to understand their impact on our everyday experience. With the development of digital light technologies such as LED, disparate light sources can be connected to each other, and their data can be transmitted and analyzed, enabling unprecedented communication and controllability.

This new level of functionality empowers people to adjust lighting to fit moods, activities, and experiences. Such solutions speak to a growing ability to control one’s environment without affecting the integrity of a space. And while these interactions take place over a hidden network that many of us will never see, the resulting experiences change our relationship to the physical world. Being able to make lights talk to one another and their owners, highlight and elevate our human need for connectivity. Susanne Seitinger of Philips Color Kinetics tells us, “The interactive part of light can set up relationships between you, the infrastructure, the space and possibly other people.”

“The Internet Of Things” is defining how these relationships can develop. A web of connected devices and applications that can speak amongst themselves is changing the way people use light – in their homes, offices and cities. Nighttime is the obvious point of entry for such innovations because that is where light’s full capabilities are needed and can be appreciated. Seitinger adds, “We have a lot more ability to manage, design, and think about how people orient themselves at night because of the capabilities of digital lighting.” From entertaining a group to winding down before bed, digitized lighting technologies can enrich human connection after night falls.


Ambify  is a mobile application that syncs with Philips hue to react to music being played and create dynamic in-room visuals in nearly infinite color combinations. It is uniquely designed for Philips Hue, a smart LED light bulb that can be controlled through an app using a smartphone or tablet. It brings an endless color palette into the home and advanced white light to help people relax, read, concentrate or energize and can be connected to the Internet for many more possibilities.


Another example is StoryLight. Philips has teamed up with Disney to create StoryLight, an immersive lighting experience that sparks children’s imaginations through bedtime stories. Based also around Philips Hue, StoryLight synchronizes colored light with classic Disney stories read through an interactive iPad e-book application. As parents read with their child, colors light up to help bring the story to life, while multiple lights can be positioned throughout a room, working together to create a vibrant display.


Though not exclusively a nighttime display, You Fade To Light is a lighting installation that highlights how light naturally attracts us to a space, drawing people together around shared experiences. An array of interactive OLEDs mirrors the shapes and movements of passersby in the lobby at the W Hotel in Tapei via a custom-made motion-tracking system. The wall encourages interaction between individuals and a space that is defined by both its transience and the constant presence of people and movement.

Digitized lighting technologies such as these show that an environment does not have to dictate behaviors or activities – instead, individuals can tailor their environments to their specific needs and desires.

The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.


Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Technology Today

This Sensor Will Help You Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

42Tea is a small device that guides you through every step of the brewing process, even identifying the type of leaves being used

Design & Architecture Today

Norwegian Mountaineering Center Mimics A Snow-Capped Mountain

The structure's exterior is clad in a uniform surface of pixels to create a unique climbing experience


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Shopping Bag Turns Your Hands Into A LEGO

Designers from the School of Visual Arts thought up the Playbox Bag for a competition

Related Expert

Alison Klayman

Filmmaking, Journalism

Home Today

Small Device Creates A Personal Weather Station Inside In Your Home

Netatmo's new sensor is a standalone air quality monitor that can measure humidity, purity, noise and temperature

Travel Today

Advertising Proposal Aims To Be The Most “Instagrammable Billboard In The World”

The Belltower in Los Angeles would allow video advertising and live event streaming, and include a pedestrian plaza for visitors

Design & Architecture Today

Easy-To-Build Shelter Offers A Quick Way To Put A Roof Above Your Head

The structure designed by studio Duffy London has applications in disaster relief or first-aid


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs october 12, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Beauty Today

L’Oréal Wants To Help Visually Impaired Women Apply Makeup

The cosmetics brand has developed a series of audio tutorials for Brazilian consumers with reduced sight

Travel Today

Drone-Powered Hotel Concept Could Radically Redefine Vacations

These unique pods would allow guests to visit a variety of locales over a period of several days

Automotive Today

Pitch Your Startup Idea To Fellow Uber Passengers

A new promotion on the ridesharing service's POOL feature lets select riders compete for a $5,000 investment from prominent venture capitalists

Work Today

Busy Office Managers Can Rely Upon A Digital Concierge To Help Offload Tasks

MEET is a service that automates the process of everyday tasks such as pantry and printer reordering, so employees can focus on more important work

Media & Publishing Today

Design Series Turns Emojis Into A Coffee Table Book

The Emoji Book will be comprised of different artist interpretations of the ubiquitous symbols

Health Today

These Pajamas Are Promising A Better Night’s Sleep

Recliner's new collection is made for those looking for a better way to get quality shut-eye

Design Today

Cook An Entire Pizza On Your Stovetop

This compact kitchen appliance lets people bake a homemade pie without the need for an oven

Work Yesterday

How AI Is Becoming A Seamless Part Of Our Daily Lives

Looking back on Dennis Mortensen and's update at our PSFK conference and the future of artificial intelligence

No search results found.