This thesis is concerned with a particular moment of technological change – the emergence of LED technology in the early part of the 21st century as a viable architectural light source. The advent of this technology into the provision of artificial light has not been straightforward, since LEDs have created many design challenges not seen in the lighting technologies of the 20th century. This thesis therefore examines both the challenges and potential of LED technology. Additionally, it explores both the ways LED lighting can be used to take advantage of the benefits this technology offers and new design processes that may be required for that purpose. A series of practice-led experiments were undertaken to gain a greater understanding of the nature of LED light. An approach based on ‘frames for practice’ was adopted to guide these experiments, which themselves were supported by the technical and scientific literature that discusses the way light is generated, measured and experienced. LEDs are part of a wider technological change from industrial to digital technologies. Actor- network theory (ANT) has provided the lens through which moments of technological change in lighting in the past and the current transformation are examined. Research outcomes include a suggested method of working with LEDs and possible new uses of LED light in different lighting scenarios. Above all, a fuller understanding of the move from industrial to digital lighting and its implications was gained.

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