Mind & Matter


Illuminating Wallpaper

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Light-emitting wallpaper. Photo by T3 magazine.


One of the most intriguing developments in material technology is the interchange between traditional material classifications. There are now plastics that behave like metal, wood that behaves like plastic, glass that behaves like fabric, and so on. It gets really interesting when materials assume the functionality of building systems. In the lighting arena, for example, new low-energy technologies promise to replace conventional bulbs and wires with emissive and non-emissive materials. UK-based company Lomox Ltd. recently announced its development of a light-emitting wallpaper, claiming that this material could replace household light bulbs by 2012. Seeking to curb domestic carbon emissions associated with artificial illumination, Lomox Ltd. says that its OLED-based flexible screen panels will reduce conventional energy consumption by 60%.



Comments (6 Total)

  • Posted by: tateberry | Time: 7:48 AM Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Nice article! http://www.tateberry.com

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  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 5:36 PM Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    I think the application is bling, not function. Luminescent walls are likely to cause glare and discomfort. But it's cool bling.

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  • Posted by: rpmarchitecture | Time: 5:42 PM Monday, January 04, 2010

    Come on now - give them a break - if this does work out - applications will be interesting.

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  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 4:19 PM Monday, January 04, 2010

    We can all walk around in silhoutte... great for the eyes. How do they get the 60% reduction number?

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  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 4:03 PM Monday, January 04, 2010

    I heard of glow in the dark toilet paper but not wallpaper. It's a very unattractive pattern and looks like it belongs in a brothel in Reno Nevada.

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  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 12:53 PM Monday, January 04, 2010

    When it makes it to Walmart, I'll believe it. Walmart means it is a valid product, price and buying customers. Did you know that Walmart is the largest lighting distributer in the world? All to often great ideas are never practical. 1st time i saw this product was 1971 from a backrupt startup company. Many others have similar products but never priced to match the results. David Munson St. Louis

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.