Bringing communication to indoor floors, market leader Phillips Lighting and global carpet manufacturer Desso have collaborated to develop an LED carpet.

The product’s design explores the possibilities of illuminative wayfinding and digital inspiration in a new concept that sees LED lighting combined with light transmissive carpet.

“This light transmissive carpet solution is designed to engage directly with people’s senses and the eyes’ natural inclination to seek out light,” explained Ed Huibers, marketing and sales director at Phillips Lighting. “The technology takes advantage of people’s tendency to be guided by the floor when moving through and interactive with space. It brings information, direction, inspiration and safety via the carpet you walk on.”

The “smart” carpet would explore an active environment that removes the clutter of wall signage, or information that was traditionally found at eye level to the floor where people naturally look when walking while also allowing information to only be “illuminated” when required.

According to Desso CEO Alexander Collot d’Escury, the product was also designed to enhance interaction between the interior space and its users.

Along with an application that is visually engaging, the carpet can be placed in high traffic areas such as airports, hotel lobbies, offices and public buildings to provide information, guide people through indoor spaces, highlight exits and illuminate a space.

Phillips & Desso LED Carpet

Phillips & Desso LED carpet

“We know people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and our vision linked to this is to create innovative flooring solutions that contribute to people’s” health and well-being,” d’Escury said.

Desso already delivers products with a focus on well-being, including carpets that improve air quality by reducing fine dust and provide acoustic support while taking a cradle to cradle design approach, so it made sense to collaborate with Phillips to make use of the latter’s efficient lighting solutions.

Desso and Phillips say the product aims to “improve people’s lives, whilst bringing a new level of design freedom to architects, designers and end-users.”

The two organisations are currently working on pilot projects and looking to officially launch the product (the name of which has yet to be revealed) to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa next year.

Carpets for wayfinding

Carpets for wayfinding

While the LED dance floor has been around for a while, this year also saw a world-first in which lighting was embedded into glass flooring on a sports court.

ASB Systembau GMBH developed the technology, which illuminates boundary lines for several sports, including tennis, basketball, badminton and others. The lines can be switched on and off within seconds using a touch screen and are completely invisible unless illuminated.

In the future, illuminative flooring could also offer possibilities for advertising or embedding sensory/smartphone technology that allows people using the indoor space to digitally interact with floors.