Giorgia Rossi Industrial Design & Photography

open beams

MA Thesis project, University of the Arts, London, June 2018

Lighting Design; Laser Lighting; Metal Workshop; 3D Printing; Adobe Premiere; Autodesk Fusion 360



Artificial light has significantly advanced over the last decade, with the advent of LEDs, OLEDs, graphene and wavelengths lights. Those technologies are now widely known and the innovation  progress is slowing down. 

So what lies ahead in the world of lighting?
LEDs have been challenged by the same person who, in 1992 invented the first blue LED for efficient white light, Shuji Nakamura. In fact, the same process which gave him a Nobel Prize in Physics, has now been tried with blue laser diodes.

The technology in pills

When exciting a phosphor material with a blue LED, light is emitted in the green and red spectral ranges, which, combined with the blue LED light, appears as white. Laser diodes of wavelengths close to 450nm can achieve a luminance up to 100X than LED devices. This technology has recently been applied for display, biomedical, security and automotive fields.
But there are enough assets to consider new possible applications for lasers and my challenge is to transfer this technology to propose a solution for the domestic environment.

the concept

Open Beams is a sustainable lighting system where multiple lamps consume as much as a single one, offering new interactive ways to play with light, from the installation to the daily use. Fittings can be tailored to any purpose easily changing colour temperature and luminance at any time.

A blue 450 nm laser beam is split into an optical fibre harness and reaches multiple fixtures where it is converted into white light through the phosphor diffuser.

The implemented design product, operating in a domestic environment, is then composed by:

  1. The laser source box, where all the heat produced by the laser module is dissipated. Kept behind the walls or in the countertops, far from any possible human contact, but with easy access for maintenance, helping to reduce cabling infrastructures costs.

  2. The optical fibre bundle, transporting light everywhere in the room. Brightness depends on each fibre thickness and length, with maximum output comparable with a single LED device.

  3. The converting adapter or fixture: the optical fibre doesn’t carry heat neither electricity when it reaches the fitting, allowing the user to touch the light without the possibility to get burnt or electrocuted. A mechanical dimmer is then required. It can be manually operated, directly rotating the light diffuser. The phosphor that creates safe white light is kept in a slot. Phosphor discs with different compositions can be interchanged to provide the chosen colour temperature. In this way, there is not a fixed purpose for the lamp.
    In fact, the light diffuser can be crafted in any shape according to personal taste and can be switched with every other one in the house.

References Dr. Matt Malpass, Dr. Ralph Ball, Dr. Nicholas Rhodes (MA Industrial design Course Coordinator); Rowena Preiss (NCL Lighting).