© Glowee

Lighting up our cities – but without electricity and without light pollution.

Posted on 27 November 2015.

Glowee is developing a living light source that will light up our cities without electricity and without light pollution. How? Bioluminescence!

Some organisms have a special superpower: they make their own light. It’s known as bioluminescence. A chemical reaction allows them to emit a cold green, blue or sometimes red light to camouflage themselves, communicate, repel predators, lure their prey or attract a mate. Fireflies, fungi, algae, jellyfish and deep sea fish are all bioluminescent. Inspired by nature, the Glowee team uses bacteria taken from squid to create a bioluminescent solution, which is introduced into organic, biodegradable resin shells. The result? A living biolighting system that is transparent during the day and luminous at night.

Because Glowee’s raw material is living, the production process is simple - it is cultured. When placed in a suitable growth medium, bacteria will reproduce exponentially. Glowee is self-creating and requires only a lightweight, and not energy intensive, infrastructure. Once installed, the system produces light without electricity and without light pollution. Glowee light is cold and soft and so doesn’t disturb the fauna, flora or the sweet dreams of a city at rest.

Glowee is intended for urban lighting. Light is everywhere in the city! Glowee therefore has many uses: it can be installed in public spaces, on street furniture, signs, facades of buildings and historic monuments, in shop windows... The French start-up is offering municipalities and stores a single, customizable, cleaner and less expensive biolighting solution.

The research team is currently working on Glowee’s light intensity, lifespan, adaptability to external temperatures and colors in order to develop the ideal solution - good light, which lasts as long as possible! The first living ephemeral lighting project will be announced very soon during COP21.

Main picture: © Glowee