Bioluminescence is a chemical reaction controlled by a gene enabling certain living organisms to produce light. Many marine species are able to do so, such as algae, jellyfish, squid and shrimp.
The Glowee startup, established in 2014, is developing a biological lighting system which uses the natural properties of bioluminescent marine organisms to rethink how we produce and use light. Glowee offers a luminous and cultivable living raw material.
Light is produced by a bio-gel obtained from the genetic manipulation of bacteria mixed with nutrients. The gene which codes bioluminescence is inserted in common non-toxic bacteria. This is the raw material which is used like the filament in an electric light bulb, and the glass bulb is then replaced by an organic resin capsule containing the bioluminescent substance. This container can be made in various shapes as needed.
Sustainable lighting systems
The aim of the lighting produced by Glowee is to reduce the environmental impact over the entire value chain: production, use and end of life.
Production is inexpensive, low-energy and infinitely cultivable. Its principal resource is not limited and reproduces exponentially.
The use of luminous bio-gel opens the way for much more diverse uses than light bulbs or neon lights: the light comes in various forms, can be fitted in any type of installation, is much more green and generates less light pollution. Finally, when the living organisms of which the gel is composed reach the end of their life, they are still an energy source, being a biomass which can in turn be recycled (heat, electricity etc.).
We like: The aim to reduce the impact of electric lighting (which represents 19% of electricity consumption and 5% of CO2 emissions) and the desire to replace products from the petrochemical industry by biotechnologies.
This inspires us: The possibilities offered by Glowee are huge: public lighting, POS, shop windows, urban furniture etc. Harnessing bacteria for less harmful lighting proves that nature can still teach us a lot; biomimicry has enormous potential.
#ecology #innovation #sustainable