Optic Flow

Optic Flowkinetic lighting
Optic Flow

Introducing Optic Flow

Optic Flow is a new product that mixes technology, art and function in a seamless way. It is a functional light sculpture that changes shape, as well as color, in endless and rarely-repeating patterns. Optic Flow has been created by San Francisco artist David Henshaw, and is a high-end fixture for discerning homes and businesses.

Technology At the heart of Optic Flow is an Arduino microprocessor, with custom-made electronics enabling the light sculpture to change the way it looks. Ten individual LED light pendants are synchronized to make unique light patterns, and custom-built winches raise and lower the lights creating unique shapes that are coordinated with changing colors.

Art Optic Flow is a beautiful kinetic light sculpture. It changes shape gracefully, and surprises you each time it morphs. At times, light bounces from one end of the sculpture to another; sometimes the lights flicker like candles, or mimic a thunderstorm. The variations in the way Optic Flow looks and behaves are rarely repeated.

Features In addition to being a unique high-tech piece of art, Optic Flow has function, too: it is a hanging light fixture – albeit one you’ve never seen before. Optic Flow understands different “moods” that you select – for example “romantic” for that intimate dinner; or “party” when you want to show off your place. Optic Flow’s “auto mode” makes for zero-hassle operation, waking up and going to sleep at preset times. Multiple Optic Flows can be hanged together, increasing dramatic effect and brightness.

About the artist David Henshaw is an English-born artist who lives in San Francisco, California. After a decade of hand-printing black and white photographs, he embraced the “Maker” community after the year 2000, and has created a variety of mechanical electronic marvels in his home workshop. David presented his “Reel Time Clock” at MakerFaire, and it was featured in O’Reilly’s Make magazine.

How to get it Optic Flow is not a mass-produced item. It is hand-built by the artist using quality components, laser-cut hardware and 3D-printed objects. A limited quantity of Optic Flows will be made each year. Contact the artist to discuss your order. Customized variations of Optic Flow can be created.


Voting ended in October 2014 - Optic Flow was a Contender for Engadget's Insert Coin Awards!

The Arduino Uno controls a set of programmable LED lights, each of which can display hundreds of colors. Special high torque motors adjust the height of each light pendant, using a custom-built winding reel and slip ring. Optic Flow has a user-friendly interface, consisting of a “turn and push” rotary dial and LCD display. The hardware or software can customized by arrangement with the artist.   Read more.

Examples of Optic Flow’s shapes include straight lines, curves, sine waves and angles. In each case, the formula that governs the shape is different each time. The light show reacts to the shape of the sculpture, and there are thousands of possible patterns. Read more.