teamLab’s Crystal Universe

Crystal Universe interactive led lights

The DMM.PLANETS Art exhibition by Japanese art collective teamLab is among the latest art installations in the world to make use of interactive LED lights. Considered one of this year’s largest art exhibitions in Japan, the project features four attractions, three of which are equipped with LED lighting technology to provide an otherworldly experience to visitors.

The art exhibit makes use of around 330,000 units of LEDs. Similar to a lot of LED strip light variants available today, the LEDs can project different colours, and the installation uses this to create different nature-inspired effects.

The DMM.PLANETS Art exhibit includes three LED-based attractions:

1. Wander through the Crystal Universe

This exhibit is the main attraction of the DMM.PLANETS Art exhibition, a room of reflected and refracted interactive LED lights that change colour depending on how visitors interact with them. Visitors can enter the area and create different visual effects in real-time using body movement, and even just walking around can affect the colour and intensity of light emitted by the LED bulbs.

This moving 3D artwork is made possible through the installation of LED lighting connected to sensors. The artwork also makes use of teamLab’s proprietary Interactive 4-D Vision technology, which allows visitors to control the LED bulbs through a special app on their mobile phones.

2. Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity

In this exhibit, interactive LED lights are used to project images of koi in different colours. This attraction is unique in that, instead of projecting light on a flat, solid surface, light coming from LEDs is projected on the surface of knee-deep water. Sensors connected to projectors can read the movements of visitors, which affect how the koi images are projected. The projection is rendered in real-time and is not a recorded visual, which means that every interaction with the LED koi is unique.

3. Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers

This exhibit relies heavily on reflection and refraction, projecting floral images and patterns on mirrors. In addition to the interactive LED lighting, the exhibit also makes use of perfume, with each floral image or pattern having an equivalent scent, providing a whole new level of visual and olfactory experience for the visitors. They can also make use of a smartphone app that allows them to release at least 6 types of butterflies, simply by swiping upwards while using the app.

LEDs for art

A lot of artists today turn to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to bring life into their work, from LED strip lights to LED panels. Today, LEDs provide not just illumination for accentuating an artwork’s colour and depth; LEDs can now be used to make immersive pieces of art like never before, as evidenced by teamLab’s latest work.

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