Jason Krugman Studio

Jason Krugman Studio developed Firefly as a way to visualize the wind in real time using LED lights. As gusts of wind strike the surface of the piece, each LED turns on individually from the ones around it, using its own small hand-made sensor. The result is a sparkling display of the wind's energy converted into light. Viewers can observe spirally eddies and chaotic waves moving over the piece in bursts of bluish-white light.

The Firefly Wind Light System revolves around a proprietary switch for sensing the wind. Picture an electrified wind chime; as the wind blows the metal chime into contact with the metal gong, it closes a circuit. Firefly's LED/switch pairs do the same thing, except on a much smaller scale. When the wind blows on their pendulum switch, they light up.

Conceptually, this project developed out of an idea to create a modular system that does not rely on a central decision making hub, such as a computer. Instead, its design takes in data through its many nodes, allowing for extremely accurate and responsive output based on their immediate environments.

Originally developed as a Master's Thesis at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, Firefly installations have been commissioned for several large-publc art installation around the United States. The initial piece is currently on display at the New York Hall of Science (pictured below).

photo by Rumi Ishino
2 girls
Two concertgoers observing the piece on a windy night at All Points West festival.
Firefly at the Flashlight Nuit Blanche event in New York (2011)

The above image was part of a proposal to utilize Firefly modules to create a solar-powered, wind-sensitive skin for the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. Coupling the Bridge’s beautiful engineering with a stunning, large scale wind installation would make it one of the most striking pieces of public art and architecture in the world.

A proposed installation for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston
© Jason Krugman 2015