lighting

Genius Light Switch Design by Taewon Hwang

Genius Light Switch Design by Taewon Hwang

Have you ever walked into a house and had trouble figuring out what switch controlled which light? Designer, Taewon Hwang comes through with this delightfully intuitive light switch concept. He takes the floorplan of a house and turns it into the design for the light switch. One of these switches could make it easy to control every light in your home from one location, or you can install multiple switches for any configuration or purpose you can imagine.

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LED Christmas lights hacked into huge IM status display [Video]

LED Christmas lights hacked into huge IM status display [Video]

Christmas lights can be gaudy and distracting, or they can be a force used for good; well, as long as by "good" you mean individually-programmable and capable of showing IM status. Microsoft .NET developer Andrej Kyselica discovered that, after some tinkering, he could get a FEZ embedded controller to individually manage each LED on a string of $60 Christmas lights from Costco.

Video demo after the cut

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Mathmos Smart Astro lava lamp adds LEDs to 60s classic

Mathmos Smart Astro lava lamp adds LEDs to 60s classic

Lava Lamps are pretty straightforward beasts: take a hot bulb, slap a glass jar full of liquid and wax on top, and watch the undulating shapes simmer around while you try to remember exactly what was so great about the 60s. Now Mathmos is back with a slightly more high-tech version, the Smart Astro Lava Lamp, turning to the awesome power of color-changing LEDs to add some extra user-involvement.

Video demo after the cut

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Death Star Planetarium puts you in a galaxy far, far away

Death Star Planetarium puts you in a galaxy far, far away

Perhaps we're just still on a Star Wars high after the Verizon DROID R2-D2 by Motorola dropped on our desk yesterday, but we're eyeing up this Death Star Planetarium and - against our better judgement - wondering if we should pick one up.  The compact ball is decorated to look like the Empire's planet destroyer, but actually creates a map of the heavens - either real or according to George Lucas' imagination - on your ceiling.

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LED networking research shows flashes of brilliance

LED networking research shows flashes of brilliance

Chinese researchers are looking to use flickering LEDs to replace traditional short-distance wireless networking standards, and that could be integrated into office or home lighting.  By rapidly pulsing the LEDs, the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute for the Study of Semiconductor have come up with the Lighting Information Network, consisting of blue LEDs capable of 2Mbps transfer speeds.

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iPad takes on Philips LivingColors for mood lighting crown [Video]

iPad takes on Philips LivingColors for mood lighting crown [Video]

Chalk up another success to the iPad: while pundits are busy asking whether the Apple tablet is a "netbook killer", it's quietly taking on Philips' LivingColors LED lamps instead.  Dofl Yun had to choose between the LEDs or an iPad, and plumped for the latter, whipping up a custom lighting system that's apparently as alluring as catnip to his feline friend.

Video demo after the cut

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DIY LED stair lighting system gets video demo

DIY LED stair lighting system gets video demo

Motion-triggered lighting isn't new, but nor is it generally aesthetically pleasing; if I were Edo Kreigsmann I think I'd be running up and down the stairs all night.  His DIY LED lighting system doesn't just turn on the lights when it spots you going up or downstairs; instead it progressively illuminates them, as if you're in a bubble of light that follows you up or down.

Video demo after the cut

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Gear4 SoundOrb Aurora Review

Gear4 SoundOrb Aurora Review

If you want to stand out in the increasingly crowded iPod speaker-dock market, you need a gimmick. That might be superlative audio quality, extreme design or some other sort of novelty; in Gear4's case, they've given the SoundOrb Aurora two claims to fame. Not only does it come with a wireless subwoofer, the sub actually lights up in a variety of different colors. So, enough to catch your attention, but does the Gear4 SoundOrb Aurora do enough to warrant a lasting place in your living room? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.

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Lumiotec ships OLED light dev kit

Lumiotec ships OLED light dev kit

One day we will break free of the dastardly incandescent light bulb and its tendency to suck down lots of power. You can get LED and fluorescent light bulbs today but they tend to be expensive and produce an odd color light that most of us don't like. OLED technology has shown promise for lighting and a company called Lumiotec is now shipping an OLED light development kit in Japan.

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