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Elemental LED Donates LED Lights to Public Art Project Wonderarium

The Mobile Plant AmbassadorThe giant terrarium will float on Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA, and will be lit by LED lights from Elemental LED and powered with solar panels.

Elemental LED, a San Francisco Bay Area LED lighting company, recently teamed up with Oakland, CA artists Sarah Filley and Yvette Molina. Their project, an 8-foot diameter terrarium scheduled for completion in the summer of 2012, is called Wonderarium. Filley and Molina plan on floating the Wonderarium on Lake Merritt in Oakland, and have already generated local buzz, community support, and in kind donations for the project, including LED lights from Elemental LED.

Waterproof LED strip lights from Elemental LED will be inside the terrarium among the foliage, lighting up the entire sphere, inside out. “The LED lights donated by Elemental LED will allow the Wonderarium to be an art installation that the community can enjoy day and night,” says Molina.

To generate excitement and interest in the 8-foot terrarium, Filley and Molina constructed the MOBILE PLANT AMBASSADOR (MPA), a 1/4th scale version of the final sphere. They showcased the MPA at several local events and venues last summer, including workshops at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, the Exploratorium, The California Academy of Sciences, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers.

Elemental LED donated waterproof LED strip lights in amber and warm white for the MPA, which creates a soft glow that appears to radiate from the plant life inside the terrarium. The LED lights are connected to a 2-way DC splitter, an inline dimmer switch and a 12V adapter.

Filley and Molina have recently teamed up with endres ware, a Berkeley, CA architecture and engineering firm. John Ware of endres ware approached Filley and Molina at the East Bay mini Maker Fair with a mutual appreciation of Lake Merritt. The company will be advising FIlley and Molina with engineering and drafting structural elements of the project. They have completed design of a flotation device that will support the sphere and its contents. Flotation of the large terrarium on Lake Merritt poses some engineering challenges, including how to connect the solar panels to the LED lights and rechargeable battery supply. The team at Elemental LED will work with Filley and Molina resolve this issue.

“We are excited to partner with Elemental LED in order to develop industry relationships with solar companies towards innovative solutions,” says Filley. The team at Elemental LED will lead the technical integration of solar technology with the LED lights and rechargeable battery supply allowing Filley and Molina to resolve aesthetic considerations. FiIley and Molina, along with the team at Elemental LED are seeking a solar company to partner with on the public art endeavor.

To learn more about the Wonderarium, please visit

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