LightBright Electric

Solar Electricity for Art and Architecture

The Light Bright Electric Exhibition - Solar Electricity for Art and Architecture - was held at Edinburgh University’s Inspace Gallery in George Square from the 15th – 16th February 2013.

The precept for the exhibition was that electricity can be generated from light using a variety of materials and methods and that we shouldn’t be restricted by the idea that blue roof mounted silicon solar panels are the only option available. The exhibition explored how art, architecture and science can be fused to create colourful and interesting electricity generating devices.





    A series of colourful photovoltaic panels made with engraved, perforated and laser-cut, fluorescent acrylic by Sigrid Blekastad an Architectural Glass Designer. These panels demonstrate how luminescent solar concentrator technology can be applied to create colourful solar windows.




LSC2Sigrid’s Master of Fine Art degree explored applications of Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) material. In these materials a portion of the light is captured by the fluorescent material and guided through the sheet to the edges so that they glow. Electricity can be generated from these materials by fixing thin strips of solar cells to the glowing edges of the sheets.



Zipped, Laced and Studded

A series of sculptures exploring ways in which silicon solar cells can be incorporated into structures by Dorothy Hardy, a PhD student at Heriot-Watt University.

Dorothy has trained both as a mechanical engineer and a glass artist. She is currently undertaking a  PhD at Heriot-Watt University exploring ways of making photovoltaics look good as part of architecture.


© Yaz Norris Photography


Energy CollectionThe Energy Collection, 2012 by Marjan Van Aubel.

Glassware incorporating Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC) is placed on a cabinet that collects the electricity generated by the solar cells. Samples of the dye sensitized solar cells were displayed near the projection.

This technology is based on the process of photosynthesis in plants: the colours in these cells collect energy in a similar way to the green chlorophyll that absorbs light energy in plants. A porous titanium dioxide layer is soaked with photosensitive dye: a natural pigment extracted from the juice of blueberries or spinach. The dye that gives the red or blue colour to berries, gives off an electron when light strikes it. One side of the glass is positive; the other negative; and when the cell is exposed to light, the dye transmits its electrons to the titanium dioxide and releases an electric current.


JessicaJessica Lammey’s concept designs for Tate Modern, Liverpool. Incorporating solar cells on a large scale.





GlassPeters Glass Studio, Paderborn, Germany: Incorporation of solar cells into architectural glass commissions.

Work by:

Raphael Seitz, Germany Joost Caen, Belgium
Sabine Rentzsch, Germany Sarah Hall, Canada
Sabine Rentzsch, Germany Carol Bennet, Hawaii
Thomas Kuzio, Germany Ina Rosenthal, Germany
Doris Conrads, Germany Christine Dahrendorf, Germany
Jochem Poensgen





During day 1 of the exhibition a workshop was held where participants (professionals and students of art, architecture and science) were given the exciting task of building Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) artwork and building models that would generate electricity. These constructions were made using transparent luminescent acrylic sheets which emit concentrated light at their edges. This light can then be harvested to make electricity by applying solar cells to the edges of the luminescent sheet. These colourful devices were displayed during the opening and during the rest of the exhibition.












© Yaz Norris Photography

The opening drinks reception was sponsored by NBS Scotland.


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