By Peter Salib, August 10, 2020
Lighting up the world with tiny living organisms
Out of all the ways one can light up a room, doing it by using living organisms sounds pretty cool. I mean who doesn’t enjoy the glow of a lightning bug or firefly, am I right? It’s all about the ambiance and some nice lighting is an essential part of establishing a nice environment.
If you’ve ever seen the pictures or videos of the glowing waters of Puerto Rico then you’ve seen bioluminescence in action. Bringing the magic of these tiny plankton from nature to the home or office, PyroFarms combines art and science to provide a beautiful, experiential, and natural glow.
There was one, now there are trillions
PyroFarms grows and sells their own bioluminescent dinoflagellates, or PyroDinos as they like to call them. I’m not sure how much more humble beginnings can get but the PyroFarms farm was sprouted by a single dinoflagellate cell isolated off the coast of San Diego. What started as a single cell, with proper nourishment, and asexual reproduction by simple cell division--gave birth to trillions of PyroDinos over the span of a few years.
Dinoflagellates, which are members of the plankton community--also known as algae--use photosynthesis to convert light into energy and generate oxygen as a byproduct. PyroDinos absorb light during the day and create natural light at night through biochemical reactions, or bioluminescence. As mentioned on their website, “PyroDinos have a ‘circadian clock’ similar to you and I and perform photosynthesis during daytime hours and only produce the light emitting compounds during their dark cycle at night.” Naturally, since this bioluminescence is best seen at night, the illuminating light gets brighter later in the night as it gets darker.
Art, science, and awe
To enjoy the mesmerising flow of bioluminescent water, PyroFarms offers a hand-blown glass orb that functions as the container for the PyroDinos. The orbs are available in two sizes and both fit on the beautiful metal Octopus Stand. The experience of turning off the lights and swirling the orb around gently to activate the glowing PyroDinos is quite enjoyable and memorable. It becomes something you want everyone that visits you to also experience.
Care and Maintenance of PyroDinos
Dinoflagellates are living organisms so the care and maintenance of the PyroDinos are extremely important to maintain life. PyroDinos cannot be placed in direct sunlight so the ideal place is near a closed window. Placing the PyroDinos in high or direct sunlight may harm them. They require daily sunlight, along with consistent temperature to survive. Their ideal survival temp is between 63F and 79F. If they do not receive the necessary daily light at the correct temperature, they will not survive anymore than 4 or 5 days.
PyroDinos also need to be fed to survive. Since PyroDinos are considered a plant-based plankton-- it’s very similar to feeding a plant with nutritious soil. PyroFarms offers filtered, purified Pacific Ocean sea water with added nutrients called DinoNutrients. As recommended by Pyrofarms, feeding should occur when a line of floating PyroDinos appear at the top of the water line near the edge of the container or globe which is about every 1-2 weeks.
Bio-Light a sustainable Light Source
Dinoflagellates consume carbon dioxide right out of the air and replace it with fresh oxygen as part of the photosynthesis process. Scientists credit all plant-plankton (phytoplankton) for more than 70% of the air we breathe. For these reasons, they are an essential part of the ecosystem and a great option for a fun at-home lighting experience.
Other worldly swirls
Pyrofarms not only offers bioluminescent options but they also offer the FlouroSphere which focuses on fluorescence--the amplified release of light by a substance that has absorbed light. Pyrofarms’ FlouroSphere uses a battery-powered UV light base which supplies the blue light to enhance the viewing experience. Once filled with water and FlouroGel is added to the FlouroSphere--the light becomes fluorescent and gives off a yellow-green color effect.
Link to article: