Bioluminescent jellyfish

Nature’s Light

No, not the Sun! We’re talking about using natural light from plants and animals; bioluminescent light.

What if we could harness this light and use it as a light source in our towns and even homes, without using any energy?


Some living organisms are able to produce light thanks to a chemical reaction.

You can find this bioluminescent light in deep-water fish and jellyfish, some types of fungi and bacteria, and fireflies and other insects.

While these organisms use their light for a number of evolutionary reasons, such as camouflage, attracting a mate or luring in prey, some people are researching using this natural light as an alternative to traditional sources.


Researchers have used this form of natural light before for other reasons, including medical procedures.

However, it is the use of fungi and plants to light up streets and cities that has exciting potential in energy saving solutions.

An artist’s impression of how bioluminescent lights could be used in our cities
Image credit: Glowee_

An artist’s impression of how bioluminescent lights could be used in our cities

There have been attempts to use bioluminescence as a light source before, with workers in coalmines using trapped fireflies in a jar to light their way while working underground.

It is unlikely that all electric lighting would be replaced with this type, as there are several problems that need to be solved, such as keeping the lights bright for more than a few hours or days, but it could prove a good solution for certain areas or uses.

Much like the Salt Water Lamp, providing developing countries alternative methods of lighting other than electricity can go a long way in helping communities.

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