Philips Hue for Games: Beyond the Screen

Video games are framed by the computer screen. The world of the game exists within that rectangle, and the ‘real’ world exists around it. What if we use connected lighting systems to extend the environment of the game beyond the screen?

For this project I have created a simple game of pong in which how well you are doing in the game is reflected by the world around you. Using a Philips Hue Bloom (or any “hue”, “sat”, and/or “bri” capable light), your progress in the game affects the brightness and colour of the room you are playing in.

Very simply, the longer you play, the more pleasantly cool and desaturated the light around you becomes. Whenever you ‘lose’ the light progresses some increment back towards a glaring, saturated red.

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A Long Distance Lamp (Version 01)


What I am intending to do and why.

Long distance relationships are tough. There are many technologies that help to alleviate some of the difficulties of distance, such as video calling, instant messaging, even connected devices that simulate physical touching. Yet long distances remain hard.

The solutions above all require an ‘active’ participation, each person must be engaged in the video call, or on the message thread, or with the physical device.

With this project I posit there is a space for more passive presence, a subtle “I’m here, but not active”. My partner and I enjoy simply reading in bed next to each other, each minding there own business but aware of and comfortable with the other’s presence.

The ideal end goal of this project is a pair of connected reading lights, with each light giving subtle and noninterruptive cues that the other lamp is present. I also intend to offer the possibility of subtle interaction, similar to a light brush of the arm or momentary eye contact.

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Light Observation Week 5

The first thing I notice here is how bright the clouds appear. This is certainly an artefact of the camera as I do not recall the clouds being this bright – even with glowy New York underneath.

This clip records 1 frame every 60 seconds. The timelapse accentuates some sort of flickering during the night on the street – I’m venturing that it is the lights of the ground floor apartments but that is a guess.

There’s a beautiful short moment around second 8 where the brightness of the sky descends towards the horizon. a soft line in the sky between pink and blue becomes a hard shadow on the ground a moment later

The glittery window reflections make an interesting pattern on the building across at around the 30 second mark.

LDR Lamp Proposal


For the next few weeks I’ll be working on a light fixture for Light and Interactivity.

My light is inspired by the personal experience of being in a long term long distance relationship.

My plan is to create two reading lights to go above the headboards of two separate beds. They will function in two or three ways (the third is undecided – needs further thought)

  1. As a standalone reading light, perhaps with an auto-off feature after an hour or so (I sometimes fall asleep with the reading light on)
  2. As a subtle presence device for long distance partners. Currently my thought is that by touching one of the fixtures, the connected light will gently pulse; just enough to let the other person know you’re thinking of them, but not so much to interfere with their reading. Perhaps a reach goal here would be to have a ‘hold’ function, where if both lights are being touched the pulse intensifies.
  3. (This is the one I’m not sure about yet) Sometimes after I fall asleep with the light on my partner will turn it off. I wish I could say vice-versa but she’s too conscientious to fall asleep with a light on. So maybe there’s something in giving control of the other light to each fixture. But that could raise a few different questions; of agency, of who’s job it is to turn the lights off, not to mention the technical difficulties.


I started throwing together concept sketches for what this lamp could look like. As of now I think a feasible option is a strip of LEDs in a square aluminium bar with one long side open. The LEDs face the open side, which has a thin layer of diffusion on it.

The ends of the bar could be capped with 3D printed caps, that could perhaps double as the housing for the electricals.

Light Observation Week 4

This wasn’t taken this week, but I’ve had the footage for a while and thought this was a good opportunity to do something with it.

The first thing that catches my eye in this timelapse is the vastly varying brightnesses as the clouds pass over the sun. It’s not something that we usually notice at normal speeds, but sped up it’s obvious.

Near the end, just before the sun dips out of sight, we can start to see the reddish tint that would become a beautiful orange sunset were it not for the clouds. This is most obvious on the bare brick wall on the left hand side of the image.

Once the sun disappears behind the clouds, the ambient light on everything immediately becomes blue, as the still-bright sky becomes the main, very diffuse source.

Lighting Observation Week 3

Very seldom do I leave the floor in time to witness the sun setting, which I lament greatly.

It’s interesting that the sky is still quite bright, yet the streetlamp is clearly a hotspot in the image.

I don’t think this is necessarily ‘Golden Hour,’ as the light is a little low for super romantic Hollywood scenes, yet it is still beautiful. The sky’s gradient transitions from pale blue above to a deep fiery red at the horizon.

Near the horizon, the orange/red/yellow (fiery colours) bleed through the trees, adding to the seemingly glowing effect.

Further up, the bottom of the clouds catch the redder light, and the top of the clouds seem bluer – closer to the colour of the sky. The reds create a lovely contrast to the clouds against the blue sky.