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Philips Bio-light creates mood lighting with bacteria

As part of its Microbial Home project, Philips dreams up an energy-efficient lighting system powered by bioluminescent bacteria.

Philips Bio-light
The Philips Bio-light concept produces light using bioluminescent bacteria.

In 2012, 100-watt incandescent bulbs will be a thing of the past, but fear not, as there's some great energy-efficient lightbulb tech to illuminate the way. It ranges from compact fluorescent lights to LEDs to halogen bulbs, and, if Philips has anything to do with it, bacteria-powered lights.

As part of its Microbial Home project, which also birthed the urban beehive, Philips set about designing a natural lighting system based on biological processes. The result? The Bio-light concept.

The system uses bioluminescent bacteria that feeds on methane and composted material to produce a soft green light, not all that different from the light emitted by fireflies and red tide.

The bacteria is housed in a wall of hand-blown glass cells and connected to a food source at the base through thin silicon tubes. The bacteria's food source comes in the form of methane gas, which is converted from solid bathroom waste and vegetable trimmings using the methane digester located in Philips' bio-digester kitchen island--the main hub of the Microbial Home.

The Bio-light could be "powered on" as long as there were a supply of nutrients, but the resulting light isn't bright enough to illuminate an entire room. Instead, Philips sees the Bio-light as more of an ambient light source, as well as a way to power night-time road markings, warning strips for planes and stairs, and more.

Check out the photo gallery above for a closer look at this cool and natural source of light.

(Via Gizmag)