How Your Brain Removes Negative Space

At first glance, RGB Light’s patented Flexi-Flex modules look like some sort of net. You can literally put your fingers through some of these gaps.  The lights are placed 2, 4, 6, and, even, 12 inches apart.  These holes are bigger than that tear in your favorite pair of pajama pants you’re not willing to throw away. 

We know, you’re asking, how can something with so much space between the lights create such a spectacular picture from a distance? 

There’s no hope for those pajama pants.  It’s okay; we won’t tell anyone.

But, the story is completely different when you’re looking at lighting.

When you’re looking at a large FlexiFlex lighting installation, the modules aren’t touching at all.  We call the gaps “negative space.”  The product looks like a net with light bulbs distributed evenly throughout.  They are like those light nets you throw on your bushes for the holidays.  In the distance, your eyes and brain work together to fill those holes.  It’s kind of amazing.  Just like those puzzles you see on social media that leave out certain words, but you’re still able to put the message together.  RGB Lights figured out that your eyes and brain can play tricks on you and they used that to their, and ultimately your, advantage.

The wheel keeps on turning

An excellent example of Flexi-Flex’s brain manipulating abilities is the Irvine Spectrum Giant Wheel project completed by RBG Lights in Irvine, California.  Over 130 retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues make up one of most energized retail experiences in the country.  The center of the establishment is the Irvine Spectrum Center’s giant Ferris wheel. 

The iconic amusement park ride can be seen from a distance.  More than 52,000 energy-efficient LED lights adorn the wheel and are capable of producing over 16 million different color schemes.  Two separate lighting solutions were used for different effects.  One illuminated the structure by highlighting the Ferris wheel.  The other higher resolution LED custom grid created a video surface that when the pixels are mapped, they create playful movements like a high definition widescreen monitor. 

What about the negative space?

Patrons to the shopping center can see Irvine’s Ferris wheel up close.  RGB Lights had to take into consideration that too much negative space between the LED lights would be seen by those who come up close and personal.  For the lighting to be perfect, engineers had to figure out the maximum and minimum viewing distances.  Whether you’re at the top looking out over Orange County, or in the courtyard below mesmerized by the lights, the view is spectacular.

Pull out your calculator and let’s get technical

If the pixel (each light) is 2 inches, the minimum viewing distance is 16.4 feet for your brain to view the image as a whole.  Also, if a screen is 65.6 feet high, it will still make an impact at 3280.8 feet.  There’s a science when it comes to making the right choice for your project.  What is important is that the flashing lights or visual presentation are seen by anyone who wants a show.  RGB Lights took into consideration where the closest visitor to the shopping complex would stand.  If they were next to the Ferris wheel, there would need to be some sort of barrier at least 16 feet away so if there was a visual presentation, the person watching the show would not decipher the negative space. 

It would be a bummer if your show included an animated movie and the engineers didn't consider how far the cheap seats were in the back or whether the child in the closest seat only saw lightbulbs.  Having the right lighting formula is the key to an excellent performance. 

The shape of the building also has an effect on whether negative space is visible.  A flat building has a better chance of being more negative space friendly.  If you’re building has curves, there’s a higher probability you’ll see the gaps between the lights.  The FlexiFlex product gives you flexibility.  Creating a custom lighting installation, like one that can be manufactured at RGB Lights, will give you the ability to wrap around a building.  Televisions do not have that capability, that’s what makes FlexiFlex so diverse.

What about the Irvine Spectrum Ferris wheel?

Since the outline or perimeter of the Ferris wheel did not have a visual, a lower resolution was used.  The pixels were one foot apart.   The center of the Ferris wheel is where the magic happened.  Different lighting movements for events, holidays, and more flawlessly appear.  The center pixels are 4 inches apart from each other or 4 inches on the center.  It is highly unlikely someone is going to get up close and personal to the heart of the Ferris wheel.  Well, unless you’re a firefighter saving a damsel in distress or King Kong.  The LED lights closer to each other create a higher resolution visual, making it possible for video effects. 

RGB Lights also included other bells and whistles like wireless control aspects for the gondolas and rotation sensor integration so when the wheel is spinning, the integrity of the visual remains intact. 

The FlexiFlex product is invented and manufactured by RGB Lights, so they have the ability to create a one of a kind large scale production for almost any venue. 

Understanding negative space and how it impacts your overall vision helps get a better idea and make smart choices about the ideal solution for your specific lighting needs.  If your large scale lighting production can be seen from a far distance, there’s no reason you will opt for the higher definition or closer pixels.  However, if you’re in a different setting where people will get up close and personal to your presentation, then the high definition is the way to go. 

FlexiFlex creates a cohesive visual image movement, creates a dramatic effect, and saves you money.  Move over high-resolution televisions; a better solution is here.

Contact a representative at RGB Lights to find out how you can use FlexiFlex for your next event. Let our expert team guide you in finding your perfect solution and making sure your experience feels seamless every step of the way.