Gallery: Forget the bulb: world’s first illuminating glass

Saazs' light-emitting plates

Eco-friendly lightbulbs are an energy efficient step in the right direction, but it could be that the bulb’s days are numbered. First we had light-emitting wallpaper, and now Saazs’ light-emitting glass plates. Using planilum technology, these plates are the world’s first active light-emitting glass. Incorporated into shelves and tables, the technology provides beautiful, understated lighting for homes and offices.

Co-developed with Saint-Gobain Innovations, Saazs’ designs are the epitome of excellent eco-design: stunning forms that emerge from cutting-edge sustainable design thinking. Christian Biecher, Adrien Gardère and Arik Levy have produced special limited edition designs, with the ‘standard’ series designed by Tomas Erel.

While the unit itself is dazzling, it produces a soothing light that eliminates the need for lampshades, and is better for wellbeing. Environmental improvements are delivered in part by the non-toxic gas employed: a significant improvement over the mercury-infused gas of neon bulbs. The average lifespan of a plate is 50,000 hours, which translates to 20 years of domestic use. And when it does cease to function, 90% of the design can be recycled, as it’s essentially based on glass.

Currently, each 100W plate lights 40 square meters of space, an efficiency halfway between a conventional bulb and a neon light. The company is working to improve the light efficiency of the shelf, aiming to develop plates as effective as a neon light within 3 years, but without neon’s toxicity and somewhat unpleasant light quality and color.

+ Saazs
+ Saint-Gobain Innovations
+ Christian Biecher


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Shweta April 13, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Amazing glass work…!!!

  2. PlasmaNeon November 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    If they are using same technology with ours, it uses PDP technology. For more information, please visit Thanks

  3. Robido June 3, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Actually, it is not an array of white leds with transparent leads within glass, White leds do not generate noticable heat whereas what you see here generates a certain amount of heat. The big surface area of the glass lets the heat dissipate efficiently in order to keep the glass from becomig hot. The light is emmited from the glass it self as the substrat is literally painted on the surface. A more technical description of the technology is described in their web page ( under the “company” -> “technology” page. It think it is a very good concept that we may see more often when the prices will be lower.

  4. trappist May 23, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Does anyone else wonder how this just-invented technology has an average life of 20 years?

  5. hfdkjsldfgsd May 22, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    tritium lights perhaps?

  6. grok May 22, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    What a crock.

    Wouldn’t “LED arrays glued to glass with transparent leads” be a mroe accurate description?

    What fun looking through all those donuts.

    Lots of folks trying to jump on the LED bandwagon any way they can I guess.

  7. filepromptdotcom May 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I am personally looking forward to LED lighting gaining maturity, lamps which do not output heat, never needin bulb replacement, will result in many original and useful designs for lamps, which at the moment tend to be too bulky or get hot where you dont want them.

    These illuminating donuts, while looking kind of arty, cant be mainstream, to me these look like fluorescent technology, though it isnt explained

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home