By Liz Skelton

The Bee in the City initiative, makes us consider the life of a bee within the city of Manchester. Our perception of light and the influence it has on our existence, differs greatly to that of other city-dwelling creatures and their characteristic responses.

The Bee-Holder holds a dynamic lighting attribute inside its’ form – making it unique to the swarm of resembling structures. Light4 took inspiration from the recognisable pattern of a honeycomb and designed a pattern across the egg-shaped base in hexagonal tessellations. Radiating from the legs of The Bee-Holder, the shapes represent touch-points of where the bee is balanced – resembling the land on a flower.

Whitecroft Lighting set about incorporating an RGBW lighting solution to the hexagon designs; fitting multiple LEDs and drivers inside the base and micro lenses into the punched holes for a more intense illuminated effect. The lit element allows the otherwise inconspicuous silhouette of The Bee-Holder to be seen – bringing an additional layer of interest during the evenings. Microwave detectors and Whitecroft’s BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) air control system allows the control of the lighting to be realised; where colour cycles track across the tessellations for a visually captivating experience.

Bees by nature, have a positive phototactic behaviour towards light – attracted to the glow and perceiving it as a source of food. Where flowers appear to them in an inverted colour spectrum; some also possess iridescent properties where different colours are visible with the reflection of different wavelengths of light. Altering the viewing angle amplifies the colour change to give a shimmering effect and the hexagons mimic this with set sequences of vibrant shades.

As a responsive element to the design, detectors pick up on the presence of people and the lighting reacts with scenes. When movement is sensed, bright colours roll across the body of The Bee-Holder; followed by a flash of white light and ambient tones of pink and blue when the no one is around.

Follow the journey on Instagram – 

Credits to Lee Tupman from Whitecroft Lighting

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Lighting Design, Liz Skelton, Uncategorized


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