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Ambio is a new lamp concept that lights up using bioluminescent bacteria
Ambio is a new lamp concept that lights up using bioluminescent bacteria
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Ambio is a new lamp concept that lights up using bioluminescent bacteria
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Ambio is a new lamp concept that lights up using bioluminescent bacteria
Ambio features a tube that is half-filled with an artificial seawater medium containing the bacteria
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Ambio features a tube that is half-filled with an artificial seawater medium containing the bacteria
When Ambio is disturbed, the bacteria comes into contact with oxygen in the tube causing a chemical reaction that results in the bioluminescence
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When Ambio is disturbed, the bacteria comes into contact with oxygen in the tube causing a chemical reaction that results in the bioluminescence

The need to minimize the energy we use need not necessarily impact adversely on the form or function of a device. This premise is elegantly demonstrated by Ambio, a "bacterial lamp" created by designer Teresa van Dongen. Ambio merges sleek design with a soft glow created by bioluminescence.

Gizmag has featured lamps that use bioluminescent bacteria before, including the Philips Bio-Light and the Dino Pet night-light for children. The Ambio, however, is an example of how the concept might be employed for a more conventional home lamp.

Ambio features a tube that is half-filled with an artificial seawater medium containing the bacteria
Ambio features a tube that is half-filled with an artificial seawater medium containing the bacteria

"Ambio balances two weights and a glass tube half-filled with an 'Artificial Seawater Medium' containing a carefully selected type of these unique luminescent species," explains van Dongen on her website. "Give the lamp a gentle push every so often and the weights will keep it moving and thus glowing."

The bacteria species used in Ambio is known as Photobacterium and is extracted from octopi. The luminescence is caused by a chemical reaction when the bacteria comes into contact with oxygen, hence the tube is only half-filled so as to facilitate this contact.

When Ambio is disturbed, the bacteria comes into contact with oxygen in the tube causing a chemical reaction that results in the bioluminescence
When Ambio is disturbed, the bacteria comes into contact with oxygen in the tube causing a chemical reaction that results in the bioluminescence

The lamp would not be entirely practical now, as the bacteria would eventually die, but work is ongoing to find out how the lifespan of the bacteria can be prolonged for a possible next generation of Ambio.

The video below shows Ambio in use.

Source: Teresa van Dongen

Ambio, bacterial lamp by Teresa van Dongen

1 comment
Ryan Gibbons
I'm very interested in the idea of biology integrated Into modern technology. Especially when it improves efficiency and adds unique features.