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Friday, October 24, 2014

Guest Blog : LED Lights: A Beaming Art Form
By Tom Bray : Direct Trade Supplies

LED lights are not only embraced by the eco conscious or cost savvy. Creative eyes also turn to this versatile, flexible and colourful lighting, stretching its usability to a whole new level.


Street artists often dubbed as ‘guerrilla artists’ have been known to apply LEDs to temporary creations in public places. The boom of ‘LEDThrowies’ in 2006 is a great example of this, substituting spray cans with LED lights attached to batteries and magnets. Unlike graffiti, LED Throwies remain visible against the night sky; lighting up political, social and thought provoking messages for all to ponder.

Artists also use LEDs to enhance their very own pieces of art. Whether it is sculptures, abstract creations or constructions based on a particular theme or idea, LED lights can highlight and intensify these pieces. Some artists go one step further and completely embed themselves in LEDs. Finnish artist Janne Parviainen wrapped himself head to toe with a tube of LED lights, then using long exposure camera techniques he portrayed a truly galactic vision, summing futuristic vibes straight from another universe. Parviainen says. "In my pictures you see a parallel universe which only the camera can capture".

LED lights coupled with camera trickery is a developing art form. In comparison to work by Parviainen, others artists leave LED lights to dance and tease across the night sky. This form of light art produces a vivid psychedelic scene, shooting light beams up to the sky to construct utterly awe-inspiring structures; glowing beehive cylinders, sci-fi strands, cosmetic cannons, extraordinary orbs and mind bending wires, all terms that can describe these eye catching inventions.

British freelance photographer Martin Kimbell is a grand example of how you can incorporate LED lights and long exposure camera tricks to produce something quite special. His photography displays ghostly glowing tornados and hula hooping wiry wreaths spiralling into the night sky. Practicing with LEDs since he was 16, Kimbell is now a dab hand at creating these stunning images. Modestly mastering a digital camera to test composition and lighting but nothing more elaborate, “I can leave the shutter open for as long as I want without worrying about the quality degrading or my battery running out.”

Artists are well renowned for turning something run of the mill, mundane and unassuming into something with an edge, a spectacle and a subject to puzzle over. The world of LED artwork is one of them, with artists’ using the night sky, buildings and even themselves to sorcer up an ecstatic enchantment of light architecture and design.

What’s more, these artists are using equipment which is kinder to the environment, so in some ways they are giving two things back to the world; art and planet conservation. LEDs have the scope to be compulsory, not just seen as an alternative to halogens and fluorescents but a must for all establishments.

In a time where modern technology is so advanced, surely there is no need to keep producing lamps which are so harmful to the environment? Yet unfortunately this kind of logic can be applied to most things, stop producing weapons and people won’t be killed or seeing as 92% of money is not in physical form, print more money and distribute it to the poor. Until these proposed ideas are taken seriously and god forbid actually actioned it is up to us to keep the fire burning and the light firmly lit, but remember, the lights need to be LED.