As daylight fades and nighttime begins to envelop the city, the built environment transforms into a hulking monochromatic whole. This dance of night and day has inspired poets and artists for centuries, and—with the advent of technology—has motivated architects and designers to experiment with incorporating lighting systems into the facades of their buildings.
One way they do this is through LEDs. Developed in the 1960s, LEDs (short for light-emitting diodes) function as a semiconductor light source. Essentially electrons are passed through a device and allowed to recombine at certain points, which releases energy from photons. This effect is called electroluminescence, and it produces different color lights depending on the energy of the photon. The color and duration of light can be controlled by the bandwidth of energy sent through the device, giving LEDs one of their hallmark attributes: the ability to be modified easily.