Little Sun

Light installation exploring the effects of white light through motion, time and refractive materials; clear cubes and prisms. [2019]

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Even though we constantly experience reflection refraction and diffraction, they go unnoticed unless we pay close attention to them. The moments we do usually slow us down and make us more present: watching a sunset or noticing shadow patterns in a pool.

Little Sun generates light patterns and colors using a high-voltage LED light, three acrylic cubes and a prism cube (a cube made of four prisms joined together). The white light is shined through the rotating cubes creating a slow motion light dance that draws us to pay close attention to its changing forms.

The rotation is controlled using a stepper motor and an arduino.

Code: https://github.com/hellonun/little-sun

Lighting Moment #7

Lighting Moment #6

LIGHTING MOMENT #5

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#lightandinteractivity #itp . Gramercy Wednesday, March 6, about 6.00-8.00 . This is a snapshot of a 24 hour time-lapse video taken at 5 frames per minute at 1080p resolution. . This video is taken facing north west direction. As the sun rises from the east the room slowly glows switching from dark blue to right blue to white to yellow. I use the word ‘glow’ because the light feels very diffused with almost no edges at all until the sun passes all the clouds and finally hits the wall directly (around 18 seconds into the video). After that the sun casts a thin shadow close to the window and slowly exits to the street and onto the building on the opposite side. . The main observations for me this week is the ‘glow’ quality of light – the feeling of softness, and the slow change in ‘color’ as it illuminates the sky. Again, I hope to incorporate these qualities in light fixture piece.

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full video:

LIGHTING MOMENT #4

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#lightandinteractivity #itp . SoHo Friday, February 22, 14:00 . This is a photo of a light fixture at Ochre Showroom, SoHo. The light fixture is placed against a matte grey plate on a wall. The room is dimly lit in a way that is bright enough for us to see the fixture and dark enough for the light quality of the fixture to be defined. . This fixture and set up struck me because even when I was looking at the fixture, I was not looking at the light but the shadows it created. The shadows which bounced off the fixture itself. These shadows reminded me of the my light observation the other week with my blinds – one on top of another from various distances. . When observing closely at the light, I could see that there was only one small LED light under each lotus leaf. Each one was directed at the leaf (opposite side of the wall / toward me). And then bounced off the leafs onto the wall. This shadow play became an inspiration for my light fixture assignment.

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LIGHT FIXTURE EXPERIMENT

 Assignment: Build a desk lamp, reading lamp, wall sconce or chandelier fixture. You may use any lighting technology as your source, but do not make the bare source visible. Add a shade or diffuser to your fixture. Consider the light that your fixture casts on its subject.

I’ve learned a lot about light since the beginning of this semester. One of the most surprising (even though it shouldn’t be) thing is that we’re never really looking at light itself. We focus on the subjects the light cast on. Everyday, all the time light is giving us perspective / a sense of depth. I learned about this more and more through my observation assignments. When looking at light over time, I realised how our perspective change and how we never really pay attention to it. But why is that so interesting?

Observing the shadows in my own room actually made me calm and appreciate light more. The effect it has on me is comparable to that of a lava lamp – but much less synthetic. 

For this reason I want to explore the ‘shadows and reflections created by light over time’ for my light fixture assignment.

With this in mind I started trying different lights on different subjects. Here are some of the things I’ve tried. 

white light on acrylic cubes – pixel 2 flashlight

RGB light on acrylic cubes – led strip

white light on acrylic triangle – pixel 2 flashlight

white light on triangular acrylic cube – pixel 2 flashlight

I also tried the button neopixels but the light quality turned out to be sporadic. From the experiments I find that I like the effect of the white light best as it illustrates the concept of shadows and reflections the most. After this week I will try other light sources to see different shadow qualities and start thinking about the animation and actual enclosure for the project – perhaps make the rotation based on time. 

I imagine the end output to be a wall sconce light fixture where you can only see the reflections and shadows the light create – not the light itself or the subject which create the effects. 

Sketches of my project ideas:

A failed attempt. I thought this looked very tacky. 

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Other inspirations from light store visits: 

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