Bioluminescence instead of LED?

We have – once again – good news for you while you are enjoying your coffee. Finally. We really need that right now. (Haven’t I been writing this over and over again over the last few months?) In fact, there are new inventions in the green tech sector that don’t necessarily make it into the headlines and news feeds and yet, they are so helpful. We would like to introduce you to one of them here.

Picture of Barbara Beiertz

Barbara Beiertz

foto: daria shevtsova von pexels

Let there be light. With bacteria.

Already ten years ago, French design student Sandra Rey had the idea of using bioluminescent water bacteria to revolutionize urban lighting and thus, solve several problems for people, animals, and insects. On the one hand, such bioluminescent lighting is less intense and therefore less attractive for birds and insects (of which, as we have seen this summer, there are unfortunately not so many left), and more pleasant for the human biorhythm. Secondly, there is no waste as with other light sources. Sandra Rey founded a company (Glowee), a start-up whose products are based on light from bioluminescent bacteria. And this is how it works:

“Glowee’s lighting products incorporate a tank of this bacteria-laced seawater connected to an air pump that keeps the oxygen flowing; so, as long as you regularly add yeast for food, the bacteria should keep glowing for as long as you need them to. Glowee’s products are also designed to connect to urban water management systems – so, should something like a temperature shock kill the bacteria, the contents of the tank can be flushed into the environment where the dead bacteria will degrade naturally. Then, to replace the light, just add seawater, yeast, and a few bacteria and wait a few hours for them to grow.”*

The “living light” has been tested in the small town of Rambouillet for several years and has been well received there. Glowee is working on optimizing lights in terms of duration, durability, and other applications such as shop windows, illuminated advertising, etc.

And as a nice side effect this light is also very beautiful – turquoise, not cold, not dead, a bit of sea light in the city. You can find some impressions here: “Bioluminescence. Street lighting with bacteria” (translated from German). It really is a ray of hope.