LEDs become part of the building fabric with "Light Transmissive Carpets"

corridor lighting
© Philips/Desso

For years, we have been saying that LEDs are going to be treated differently than the lighting we have been used to; that they can last as long as the buildings they are part of, and will actually be built into the permanent fabric of the building.

Now we are beginning to see it happen, as carpeting with LEDs woven into the fabric does useful things like pointing the way to exits in corridors. (that's where you want the message to be if the corridor is full of smoke, this makes a lot of sense) It is a new product, "LED light transmissive carpets to provide information, direction, inspiration and safety in offices, hotels and public buildings" made with Philips LEDs and Desso carpet.

theater lighting© Philips/Desso
It might be used in theaters as well, much better than those step lights on the side.

baggage sign© Philips/Desso

I wondered about the point of doing directional signage like this baggage sign this way; it could just as easily go on top and airports get so much traffic that the carpet doesn't last very long. They note in the press release that this can help to "de-clutter spaces by making information visible only when needed" but the baggage area is always needed.

However there is also the point that, particularly in airports, more and more people walk while looking down at their phones. It could also be flashing messages like "Watch where you're going!" As they say,

The rise of the internet, smartphones and tablet computers has changed the way people interact with information. Today’s challenge is to stand out amongst the mass of data and information thrust in front of people every day – this technology is intended for these purposes.

philips© Philips/Desso

LEDs become part of the building fabric with "Light Transmissive Carpets"
This is the future of lighting design, where the LEDs become permanent parts of the buildings, not something that is just plugged in.

Related Content on Treehugger.com