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New innovative lighting technology – Geolights

At the Green Space Dark Skies events, Lumenators carry a Geolight during the experience to create visual patterns in light across the landscape.

Walk the Plank has been working with Siemens, CORE Lighting and partners to create this new product. The Geolight is a major development on existing lights produced by CORE Lighting for use in the event industry.

Graduate engineers from Siemens have developed the innovative, geo-locating lighting system alongside innovations including Internet of Things (IoT), real time location tracking, energy storage and wireless connectivity. Annabel Ohene and Nathaniel Fernandes are the two Siemens graduates that have worked on the devices, alongside engineering interns Sam Rhodes and Sam Newton, who joined the team during the development phase.

Lumenators on Meldon Dam

Meldon Dam, Dartmoor National Park, Photo: André Pattenden

By remotely changing the colour of the lights, each participant (Lumenator), effectively becomes a pixel within a coordinated image of live artworks within the landscape.

The engineers have worked together with lighting company CORE Lighting, to integrate the Siemens processing technology into CORE’s lights being manufactured in Gloucester, using mainly UK-supplied parts.

 

Working on this project really tested what is possible when it comes to self-locating lighting systems in an outdoor environment. It has been great to work on something that has a fantastic social purpose, but also has potential applications in industries like manufacturing and logistics too where outdoor geolocating can support automation. It is a perfect example of technology that can benefit organisations as well as people.

Nathaniel Fernandes
Graduate Engineer, Siemens
Geolights in use at our Meldon Dam event

Meldon Dam, Dartmoor National Park. Photo: André Pattenden

Lumenators form a circle of geolights on the estuary at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower AONB

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower AONB. Photo: Robert Melen

Green Space Dark Skies and UNBOXED are leading fantastic initiatives celebrating both the arts and science. This is a project where the talents of our graduates have really shone through, and they have played a significant role in inventing the technology needed to make this project work on a grand scale. We are thrilled to see the displays as part of the events.

Robin Phillips
Head of Siemens Advanta Consulting UK

The light is created using LEDs, meaning that there is no danger of the 1.5kg light getting hot when it’s carried. The units are designed to be robust and able to withstand multiple 1-metre-high drops. They are easy to hold, with a large handle situated on top. Wheelchair users have the opportunity to use a bridle that can be angled down, making it easy to be held in a comfortable position rather than rested on top of their legs. The light is powered by a lightweight lithium battery inside which is charged overnight.

When the events are finished, Walk the Plank will aim to re-use the lights for future outdoor events.

Green Space Dark Skies celebrates nature, our responsibility to protect it and our right to explore the countryside. The technology is a milestone for lighting in events – it means events directors can coordinate and automate displays in outdoor environments in new and interesting ways.

John Wassell
Creative Producer, Green Space Dark Skies and Co-founder of Walk the Plank
Young woman with curly blonde hair holding Geolight

Valley of Rocks, Exmoor National Park, Photo: André Pattenden

Close up of selection of the Geolights before they are distributed to Lumenators showing their controls and handles

The technological advance created by the Geolights and its control system is the result of extensive design and testing work, crammed into just a few short months.

CORE Lighting has redesigned significant internal content which in turn has provided them with a great opportunity to set up tooling in UK factories once again. This has made it possible to reduce the carbon footprint of the product whilst at the same time help CORE Lighting to improve its quality and reduce scrap rates.

Designing, tooling and sourcing everything in the current short supply market has been extremely challenging within the tight timescale. This innovation has created a concept the Event Lighting industry has never seen before allowing any event involving a medium to large gathering of people to be turned into a massive lighting spectacle and will be looked back on as a key milestone for event technology.

Phil Ion
Managing Director at CORE Lighting

The majority of the parts that make up the lights are sourced locally. All of the bulky components are now manufactured in the UK and not only that but very close to their assembly site. This includes the electronics board assemblies which are now assembled in Stroud, just 6 miles away from Core Lighting’s base.

The only exception to this is the extrusion body part which comes from an existing supplier in Greece where the tooling was set up and has not been changed. Even the processing and machining on this is done in the UK, with the raw extrusion lengths being brought in bulk-form from Greece to the UK, saving transport space and therefore carbon footprint. Bulky flight cases, woodwork and metalwork are all done locally in the UK.

Hundreds of Lumenators in a circle with red glowing Geolights at dusk

Ilam Park, Peak District National Park, Photo: Garry Cook

The Geolight now mostly consists of aluminium, wood, some steel plates in the flight case, some rubber seals and essential plastics on the top cap and base. Obviously, the electronics and lithium battery are used to drive the function of the product. All of these are recyclable materials in some way. The most energy consuming parts are the plastics on the top and bottom, but these were unavoidable in the design. They are much smaller in size and use less plastic content than the previous versions of the product.