By Andrew Liszewski
If you haven’t already switched the lightbulbs in your home from incandescents to fluorescents or LEDs, you might want to hold off just a bit longer. Planilum is being referred to as the first ‘light emitting glass’, and it was co-developed over 6 years by Saazs and Saint-Gobain Innovations. The idea is that instead of using lamps and dedicated lighting fixtures, the furniture and other objects in your room can be integrated with these panels and used as illumination.
Planilum is just 0.8 inches thick and is composed of 4 layers of special glass, a rare gas and serigraphed phosphors. It’s rated for about 50,000 hours of use which equates to roughly 20 years of normal usage, and when the panels do die they’re 90% recyclable. (Though there’s no mention of how that special gas or serigraphed phosphors can be disposted of.) When powered on, the lights only get as warm as the human body, and are completely are safe to touch. Their soft glow also means you don’t need to use a shade or diffuser. If you want to check out Planilum in person you’ll need to visit the company’s showroom in Paris. But you might as well leave your checkbook at home since I’m pretty sure it’s not available for sale just yet.