Shanghai, 7th June 2010
Have you ever seen those “glow-in-the dark” insects? And those stick on cut outs of the moon and the stars you can paste on your ceiling and which glow after you switch of the light. Kids love it. Well, it seems that we as lighting designers may start to love it too. We have recently been researching alternative ways of doing pool lighting, to step away from standard pool lights, fiber optic or even LED pool lighting. I think we all know the challenges we face with underwater lighting, from water proofing to electrical safety and maintenance issues.
In our search we came across luminescent mosaic tiles. Tiles that look like ordinary tiles but that glow at night…using the technology of luminescence and fluorescence. I am not sure how they mixed the luminescent pigments into the tiles but we tested the tiles and they definitely glow all night. I would assume that the glow will gradually fade over the years, but the manufacturers claims it will work for many years! We need to do some further due diligence on this one, but this offers new opportunities and in our case we are now mooting the idea of applying this concept to an open air swimming pool…think of it…no wiring, no power supply required…no installation headaches! By arranging the tiles in decorative patterns and contrasting them with darker tiles as a frame, we can create something interesting to look at that can be seen by day as well as by night when it starts glowing!
This seems a more reliable application then luminescent paint of old days that glows under ultra-violet light. I ever used that in a building to create a starry night sky but the paint faded away fairly quickly. Some people have painted complete scenes from 1001 Arabian Nights on their bedroom wall. The paint looks white during the day but comes alive in many colors at night when the normal lights are switched off and UV is switched on. I must say it can be quite magical….
Anyhow it is a side step from our daily architectural lighting ways but certainly one that could become interesting over the years to come with all the pressure on us to reduce our carbon footprints…