Picture the scene. Having just awoken, you walk bleary-eyed towards the kitchen. The corridor shimmers with low azures and deep purples, providing low-level illumination that guides you through the house without you having to turn on the main hallway lights. In the kitchen the curtains are still drawn, yet the room is slowly filling with a soft glow as a hazy orange sun climbs up the wall. As you prepare your breakfast, the room becomes suffused with a calming light, gently welcoming you into a new day.

This is not some vision of a far-off time in the distant future; it is something from the here and now. Namely, it is luminous textile: a smart fabric developed by Philips that emits soft lighting that varies throughout the day. It can be placed anywhere there is a flat surface, creating a focal point on an otherwise blank wall or providing striking ceiling lighting for windowless spaces.


Discreet yet flexible


Luminous textile is designed to have a subtle effect on a space, with several configurations to mirror certain times of day and the moods of the occupant. Depending on where it is deployed, it can create a soothing, exciting or even powerful atmosphere to complement the function of the room. As the panels subdue sound effectively, they can be used to supress echoes in high-ceilinged rooms and reduce noise diffusion in homes built using modern materials such as glass or steel.

Custom sizes can be specified and content shown over multiple staggered panels; this makes it an interesting option for architects or interior designers looking for something spectacular to use in an entrance hall or as a feature piece. The material, supplied by Kvadrat, comes in an array of styles and means that the installation can match the décor of an interior even when the LED element is switched off. Soft Cells technology is incorporated into the fabric, acting as a noise suppressant while guaranteeing that the material will not wrinkle or go out of shape through use.


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Create your own ambience


For homeowners that want to shape their own living experience, there exists the ability to choose from a selection of pre-built themes through the DiscoverMe LTP app. For professionals incorporating luminous textile into a particular space, there is also the option to upload custom designs, create playlists and configure content delivery onto multiple panels. Philips has taken steps to ensure that luminous textile panels can be used as part of a connected space, with support for its own control systems as well as integration with external platforms such as Crestron.

Whether as part of a newly designed space or as a retrofit, luminous textile is a novel way to illuminate a home. For those looking for that personal touch to their connected home, it is certainly worth consideration.