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Sidewall, LED Wallpaper

This is a Sidewall. It is dated 2013 and we acquired it in 2014. Its medium is machine-printed silver solution and led lights on paper support. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

The Cooper-Hewitt has been eager to acquire this wallpaper since the Provoking Magic: Lighting of Ingo Maurer exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt in late 2007. At the time, the wallpaper installed in the exhibition was a prototype and not yet available for sale. Figuring out how to manufacture the circuitry of this wallpaper was a difficult process which went through several revisions before it was perfected. The circuitry is machine-printed and composed of a 90% silver solution. This is visible on the front of the paper and becomes part of the design. After manually testing the circuits, each of the LED lights is then applied by hand. Electrical wires plug into the bottom of the paper and connect to a ballast.

This LED wallpaper has been one of the top items on the Wallcoverings wish list since the exhibition in 2007. There are now other LED wallpapers on the market, but Ingo Maurer was the first to develop this technology and has also designed the only lighted wallpaper that is programmable.

The LED wallpaper reflects the passion and artistry of Ingo Maurer in its design and novelty. The programmable aspect is unique among wallpapers, and adds movement and consumer involvement to what is normally a static experience. The lighted LEDs can be changed at will to create the perfect ambience for any situation. The Museum’s Product Design and Decorative Arts department has three Ingo Maurer light fixtures so the addition of this paper would allow the Museum to show a broader range of this designer’s work. The Museum also holds a large and growing collection of wallpapers by renowned artists/designers and the LED wallpaper would be a great addition.

The Museum has asked for a 256 cm length (8 feet 4 inches by 23 1/2 inches wide) which is about the longest section that would fit in the galleries. The 256 cm length is four full repeats and each repeat contains 60 blue, 60 red and 48 white LED lights. Within each repeat there are four cubes composed of LEDs, two in blue and two in red. These brightly colored cubes appear to be floating on the surface of the circuitry pattern. There are white lights regularly spaced along the circuitry creating a nice secondary pattern. The perspective created by the cube motifs adds a great sense of depth to the flatness of the circuitry pattern. This paper is available in three colorways including green, white and black. Both the green and white papers contain red, white and blue LEDs, while the black paper contains only white LEDs. The LEDs are controlled by a ballast which allows individual programming of each LED color and the overall brightness. There is even an app available for iPhones and iPads that allow you to adjust the LEDs from your device.

It is credited Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

  • PillCam SB 3
  • led light source, lens, battery, antenna, transmitter, imager.
  • Courtesy of Given Imaging, a Covidien Company.
  • s-e-1594
  • Sidewall
  • machine-printed paper.
  • Gift of Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz.
  • 2010-31-294

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • ToFU Lamp
  • molded and cut methacrylate resin, aluminum, halogen light source.
  • Gift of Yamagiwa USA Corp..
  • 2010-36-1

Its dimensions are

L x W: 256 x 60 cm (8 ft. 4 13/16 in. x 23 5/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, LED Wallpaper; Germany; machine-printed silver solution and led lights on paper support; L x W: 256 x 60 cm (8 ft. 4 13/16 in. x 23 5/8 in.); Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum; 2014-51-1

We have 1 video that features Sidewall, LED Wallpaper.

LED Wallpaper Process

Programmable LED light wallpaper made by Ingo Maurer

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making | Breaking: New Arrivals.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/52272401/ |title=Sidewall, LED Wallpaper |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=4 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>