The Celebration of Light

Preciosa Lighting

Preciosa’s pearl wave brightens up onboard festivities

Imagine the scene. A luxurious yacht, beautifully decorated. Friends, colleagues, a happy group of people are enjoying each other’s company. And with a clink of the wine glasses, an illuminating surprise appears. The chandelier above the table is suddenly filled with light. We toast again, louder this time, and a new wave of light rolls through. What is this?

This is Pearl Wave, the latest interactive lighting installation by Preciosa Lighting. Specifically designed for yachts, Pearl Wave made its debut at the Monaco Yacht Show. The light was designed by Preciosa Creative Directors Michael Vasku and Andreas Klug. They shared with us some of the finer details that went into creating this captivating light.

Time Well-spent
“Our intention was to create a chandelier that reacts to people in its environment,” Mr. Vasku said. “The environment for Pearl Wave is well-defined: it is a chandelier for yachts, a place where people gather to meet, celebrate, and enjoy time together. A central symbol of these events is the act of cheering, which creates a pleasant “ching” sound when the glasses meet.”

It’s that simple act of clinking glasses that spurs the chandelier to life. The light reacts to the sounds generated by the cheering glasses by creating different light effects; the bigger the group at the table, the more people cheer, the more the lighting comes alive.

Innovating through Technology
Creating something interactive that can also meet the stringent requirements for yacht lighting took a little creative thinking.

“Due to the fact that it is designed for yachts, the crystal-opal spheres, which we call pearls, are suspended on rods for stability and to prevent movement,” Mr. Vasku said. “Certainly, such rods don’t have the airy appearance of thin cables, so the goal was to find an arrangement where the components are located in front of the rods. This hides them from all perspectives while keeping a fluid, contemporary overall shape.”

With Pearl Wave ready to set sail, how did the interactive elements come together? Mr. Vasku said Preciosa’s in-house Innovation Lab designed custom-made software to track the sound of the glasses which influence the light’s behaviour. It’s an impressive result of the company’s ongoing research and exploration of interactive light installations.

The pearls themselves are made from a unique element called Triplex Opal. Mr. Vasku shared why they appreciate this fine component.

“This is a rich material, with great visual depth and importantly, is it beautiful in both day and night conditions,” he said. “During the day it looks lovely when the chandelier is not lit and of course when lit, it reveals a perfectly diffused light with a very subtle texture highlighting the handmade production.”

Mr. Vasku adds that Triplex Opal is hard to produce and very few companies know how to manufacture it properly, demonstrating the quality and expertise of Preciosa’s glass works.

True Interactivity
What makes Pearl Wave so spectacular is that the light’s behaviour is programmed, not a static animation. This is key to Mr. Vasku and Mr. Klug as they take a firm line against producing repetitive animation loops that visitors quickly lose interest in. With the Preciosa-designed technology, the number of people, the clinks of the glasses, the glasses themselves all play a part in creating a different lighting spectacle every time.

“We wanted to find a subtle, interactive, but not too forced form of entertainment that included a chandelier serving as the contemporary centrepiece of a yacht’s interior,” Mr. Vasku said. “Visitors will interact with the chandelier the same way guests interact on yachts: they are invited to have a drink and while cheering they fill the chandelier with light.”

The light’s sensors even track the variety of sounds created by different glasses.

“Cheering with two wine glasses will create slightly different effects than cheering with a champagne flute or a glass of water,” Mr. Vasku added.