Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is an artist who creates large-scale installations. For his project called Flatsun, he used 60,000 LEDs to simulate the sun. True, that's a very ambitious goal, but we think this glowing orb really does a good job looking like the sun's surface.
Lozano-Hemmer used mathematical equations to build the large circular panel that mimics the sun. But, at 4.5 feet in diameter, Flatsun is one billion times smaller than the real thing. Smaller custom panels within the larger structure hold the 60,000 red and yellow LEDs that give off that incredible sun-like glow. There's also a built-in computer, a pinhole lens camera, and a mechanically engineered structure that makes it easier to access the piece for maintenance. A small knob adjusts the brightness of the exhibit and acts as the power switch for the lights.
The best part is that Flatsun is interactive. As people walk by the exhibit, it responds to their movement. In a crowded room, the animation is active and turbulent a la solar flares. However, as the room becomes empty, the installation slows down and eventually turns off completely. Watch the video to see Flatsun, created in 2011, in action.