Komorebi and the emotional potential of an optical accessory

Author L&L R&D Team / L&L Communication Team
Category Tales of lighting design
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All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.

Leo Tolstoy

To work with light is to wrestle with translations, transpositions and restorations.

From the idea in your head to the actual behaviour of light on surfaces,
from the emotion of the light experienced to photographic transposition,
from a clearly defined lighting effect to a description relayed, perhaps to someone on the other side of the screen or the other end of the phone.

How difficult it is to express light in words, how easy it is to screw up your eyes to see the light imagined.

Then, at some point, the experience is turned on its head, and a word, not only written but in a foreign language at that, leads us to daydream – and remember.

The word is Japanese: Komorebi, which means light filtering through the leaves of trees.

The term is composed of three words
木 ki, which means tree
漏れ more, from 漏れる moreru, which means losing, dripping
日 hi, which means sun, day


This word induced us to experiment.


We took this game of light and shadow for what it is, a game, and passed the ball to creative people, architectural photographers and visionary photographers, designers and video producers, asking them to take inspiration from the light projections created by the Ginko 3.0 projector fitted with a shadow-effect filter.

The result was a weekly photo feature that, at close of work on a Friday, offered our Instagram community imaginative tales of light and shade. #komorebilandl
And, just like stories, we put them on a shelf, divided by genre.

Neo-noir black comedy crime #komorebiphotography

Detective story #komorebiphotography

Magical realism #komorebiphotography

Urban Fiction #komorebiphotography

Memoir #komorebiphotography

Live performing art #komorebiphotography

What is a shadow-effect filter exactly? What is it for? Why use it?

We have already described this optical accessory during our “walk in the garden”, but we should summarise its lighting functions in the light of these new artistic forays.

Ginko 3.0, shadow-effect filter

What it is
The shadow-effect filter is a serigraphed glass disc that is inserted into the projector and breaks up the uniformity of the light cone by creating shadow zones

2D effect

If the lighting fixture with a shadow-effect filter is directed onto a two-dimensional surface, such as a wall or floor, patches of light and shadow are created that are reminiscent of the dappled effect of light through foliage that fascinated the Impressionists a century and a half ago.

3D effect

Same protagonist, different story.

If the shadow-effect filter is mounted on projectors pointing at volumes, it accentuates their three-dimensionality, producing an optical effect of vibrant energy and movement, like a “dance at Le Moulin de la Galette”.

The unexpected chiaroscuro breaks the visual monotony and catches the eye, which reacts by investigating the scene.

Application ideas

Our R&D department conceived the shadow-effect filter as an intersection between inside and out, in those hours of the day when ‘inside’ means light and ‘outside’ means darkness, to blur the gap between nature’s greenery and residential concrete, like a painted chiaroscuro between foreground and background.

When used in urban or residential contexts, this kind of lighting suggests the experience of seeing light shining through foliage, calling to mind the feelings of relaxation and oneness with nature often associated with those lighting effects, komorebi.

Ginko 3.0, 3000K, 15W, 48° sharp, black anodized, shadow-effect filter

Ginko 3.0, 3000K, 15W, 48° sharp, black anodized, shadow-effect filter

The two lighting effects just described have been available in our catalogue for some years now, offering the possibility of using shadow-effect filters on the Ginko 3.0 and on the Palladiano 1.0 projectors designed by Francesco Iannone.


The artistic forays of recent months have shown us once again the infinite emotional potential of light.

Have you used our shadow-effect filter in a project?

Let us know!