One way to control light in 3 dimensions is to put loads of lights in a space and control each light. I’ve always loved this idea ever since seeing the work of Jim Campbell. Although not 3D, his use of low resolution 2D grids of lights is highly evocative and beautiful.

Taking it into 3D causes headaches mainly because of the numbers of lights/LEDs involved. A 32×24 2D grid needs 768 lights; a 32x24x24 3D grid needs 18,432. Search 3D grid in Youtube and you get anything from 3x3x3 up to, currently, 16 cubed.

A nice example of a larger cube – apparently modular – is by James Clar

James Clar modular grid

Seekway also make a 16x16x16 grid – see here.

NOVA, developed by the Swiss Institute of Technology, is an interesting one. A grid of LED clusters, 10cm apart and in 3cm spheres, in 10x10x10 modules.

There’s a 50x50x10 module at Zurich Central station.

NOVA site here

Image courtesy of this site

UVA have played with a more abstract notion of this idea with ‘Volume’:

as have Jason Bruges Studios with ‘Untitled Chandelier’:

Jason Bruges Untitled Chandelier

and finally, also very nice is the work of Erwin Redl – this is his project Matrix II