Enter the Spark of Life
Teresa Van Dongen is not new to the research with electricity-free lighting. But we’ll get to that later. Her latest creation, named Spark of Life, is an electricity-free LED lamp that is powered by living bacteria. The electrochemically active bacteria, which are contained in four compartments inside the spherical lamp, emit electric impulses. An electrode inside the lamp captures that electric current and transforms it into energy that powers a LED light.
The only thing you need to do to make sure your Spark of Life electricity-free LED lamp works, is adding a teaspoon of acetate every two weeks and new water every month.
This could result in drastic changes to the relationship that we have with our belongings. Having to nourish and care for your lamp in exchange for endless light is certainly something we are not used to and could create a more ‘meaningful connection’ (see what we did there?). In words of Teresa, “I imagine that having to feed and thus take care of your lamp could result in a closer relationship between the lamp and its user.”
Teresa Van Dongen’s research with electricity-free lamps is not new.
Around 2014, the Dutch designer came up with a Bioluminescent lamp that glowed with octopus bacteria. The sealed glass tube which contained a fluid filled with the bacteria was attached to a pendulum. When activated, the movement would trigger the bacteria to start glowing in a bright blue color. You can see a video presentation of that project below.