Lorenzo Antonioni and Sara Pelligrini have developed the lighting system Bulbo Light, which makes plants grow indoors. Here they explain their ideas of the kitchen of the future.
How did the idea emerge?
Sara: We wanted to develop a lighting system for city dwellers who barely have any contact with nature. Big cities are becoming ever more crowded and flats smaller. Somebody who is confined to 40 m2 probably doesn’t have the opportunity to cultivate plants or tend a garden where they can grow basil and lettuce. With Bulbo Light, we make this possible: fresh products at any time in the smallest of spaces.
Can people learn something by using your product?
Sara: Sure – our goal is to make people more aware of what they eat. It’s about the products they buy day in, day out at the supermarket. We want people to understand their food from seed to plate. Our lamps are fun yet functional, and are intended to patch up the tear that has opened up between natural living spaces and overpopulated cities.
Were you motivated by sustainability?
Sara: Certainly. We will all be eating more vegetables in future because they are more sustainable. But vegetables come at a price. Our goal is for the consumer to know where vegetables come from and just how long it takes for them to grow fully.
But your lamps have to be switched on all day and night…
Yes, but they consume just seven watts. All of our products are designed with efficiency in mind and to consume as little energy as possible. We have worked out that you can produce up to 10 kg of lettuce with just 17 cents per year.
What role does the light play in all this?
Lorenzo: For me, light was always fundamental. I observed nature for hours on end, trying to understand the lighting conditions under which things grow and flourish. While studying, I specialised in lighting design. I was interested in finding out how to cultivate plants indoors under ideal lighting conditions. LEDs are the answer. Previously, there we only had white light. With LEDs, we can generate the exact wavelength and hue that plants require for photosynthesis. LEDs have opened new horizons for us.
Will this influence how we eat in future?
Sara: Definitely! We consider the kitchen the most important room in any flat. The freshest products should come out of the kitchen. We live in an era in which we travel a lot and get to know other cultures’ cuisines. I like the idea of bringing back seeds from other countries and then planting them yourself. With our LED lamps, it is possible to cultivate these all year round – even in winter. A Chinese customer got in touch to tell us he can finally grow a particular kind of vegetable that he has never been able to get hold of here in Europe. This is how the kitchen of the future will look: our eating habits will be ever more international.
What do you personally associate with your lamps?
Sara: With Bulbo, we make the Italian sun shine in kitchens across the world. We also bring laughter and joy to the kitchen as well as new life. You could say the technology is the creator of new life.
A day in the life of connected cooks
We brought together a group of innovators in our connected kitchen. People who are combining modern technology, sustainability and passion to change eating habits. eimagining the kitchen is a big part of this challenge, so they spent time together cooking with our connected appliances to show what the future may hold.Find out more