Lighting Dark Corners: Improving Light Efficiency with Kirigami

Dr. Randall Kamien

Though there have been incredible advances in the efficiency of lighting, we still waste much of our natural light. To retrofit existing space it is necessary to develop simple, scalable and inexpensive technologies; only then can we keep the corners brightly lit for free. In 1973, the mathematician Victor Klee posed the following question: “in a polygonal art gallery with N corners, how many of the corners need to have guards so that every part of the gallery is being watched?” Easy for a triangle (one), a rectangle (one), or any convex polygon (one) but not so obvious for a concave polygon. In other words, how many globe lamps do you need mounted at corners to light the whole room? This project will work this problem further by determining how we can uniformly illuminate a room, redistributing the solar flux through dynamically adaptable surface panels based upon kirigami applications.