Lighting design and sound design are two distinct, complex fields that produce pleasant ambiance and enhance our enjoyment of media, and it’s easy to take them both for granted. Careful consideration of acoustics, wattage, color spectrums, and reflections goes into many commercial settings like theaters and concert halls, but it’s not something most of us care to fuss with in our own homes. While you could certainly hire a designer to mimic high-performance systems, the process isn’t cheap or easy, and typically involves a whole lot of wiring.
But what if you could capture many of the qualities that make professional systems so effective without putting in any of the hard work? That’s the goal of “Luminous,” a new integrated lighting and sound system by Iranian designer Mohammad Hossein Namayandegi. In order to achieve soft, indirect lighting that feels like it could be coming from the sky and omni-directional sound, this product is loop-shaped and hangs in the air overhead.
Typical home surround sound systems require you to carefully place speakers around the room. With Luminous, as long as you’re sitting beneath it, you can enjoy the same effect without any wires at all. It creates “dome-shaped sound” within the room while also providing illumination thanks to a system of LED light sources and an acrylic diffuser. The light reflects off the ceiling overhead for a uniform, low contrast and slightly muted effect, like daylight diffused through a sheer layer of clouds.
Luminous consists of the loop-shaped lighting and sound unit, as well as a bluetooth audio adapter that allows the user to adjust the lighting and sound wirelessly, as well as stream sound and music from personal devices like phones, game consoles, and televisions. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the LEDs based on the ambient light level in the room. Twenty small speakers built into the loop output the sound through separate channels at different intensities from a 360-degree radius, mimicking the effect of surround sound.
The product’s website reads: “The main design philosophy of Luminous is to create atmospheres and emotions that the users desire to feel, including peace, excitation, and companionship with friends and colleagues in working or living spaces. On this basis and at the first step, various concepts were generated, and it was concluded that the combination of light and sound in a single product [could] be a practical solution. Our aim was to create a spatial sound system and natural and efficient lighting solution. Accordingly, and during the second phase, sound and light generation and perception in nature were investigated.”
“Ergonomic guidelines for lighting design [were] also studied. Then, applicable technologies, the design trend of the current samples, and the product environment were analyzed. In this point (phase three), the limitations and potentials for further development became clear and design criteria identified. During the next phase, various ideas were generated, evaluated, and repeatedly modified. Finally, a detailed model of the selected idea was produced and presented.”
Winner of a 2019 Silver A’ Design Award, the Luminous Lighting and Sound System is a pretty cool innovation that could give us a hint at what to expect from home electronics in the near future.