Tuesday, August 7, 2012

LEDs go to the Olympics

As I was watching the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games I suddenly realized how much LEDs have become an art form.  I was fascinated to see a boat, carrying the Olympic torch, speeding up the Thames River with David Beckham at the helm.  As they transition to an aerial shot I saw that the boat was illuminated with brightly colored LEDs, while the buildings and rooftops along the banks were also dressed up with solid-state lighting.

     LEDs brighten up the torch carrying speed boat

Then the world found out that the entire stadium seating had been wired with blue LEDs, making them a      part of the show.  And while I can’t confirm it, I feel pretty sure that the illusion of the Olympic rings being forged from molten metal, during the opening ceremonies, was also created with amber colored LED lighting. 


      Blue LEDs make the stadium part of the show                 

      Yellow LEDs create the illusion of molten metal

I think the oddest use of LEDs was the illuminated blankets for the “sick” children in the hospital beds.  How can anyone fall asleep if your whole bed is glowing like a giant Arctic night light.  For me most lyrical use of LEDs was the illumination of the winged cyclists who represented doves, floating around the perimeter of the stadium.  It was then that I teared up a little while clutching my twinkling LED pillow. 

      Children trying to sleep while covered with bright white LEDs                

    The dove bikes were magnificent