#Innovation — 31.05.2019

Glowee: The Future of Lighting!

At a time when scientists are issuing warnings about the rapid collapse of biodiversity, Glowee invites us all to experience the untold wonders of this all-important biodiversity.

Sandra Rey

Founder of

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When Sandra Rey discovered that certain fish were able to produce light without electricity, she was struck with an idea: why not reproduce this natural technology, bioluminescence, and use it as an alternative to electric lights? And so Glowee was born in 2013.

A form of biotechnology (the term for technology inspired by nature), Glowee has developed a microorganism-based material that produces bioluminescence, just like fireflies, glow-worms and over 80% of marine organisms, including jellyfish, plankton and squid. 

This substance can be used for many different applications: in the form of a gel, the light it produces can light billboards, infrastructure, storefronts and streetlights – hence the goal of working with energy companies, municipalities and architects, to better understand how bioluminescence could be used in the future.

They can always grow more of this eco-friendly light source, so it is a great solution for reducing the electricity consumption and environmental impact of lighting. How? By conserving exhaustible natural resources (like the rare metals used in LEDs) and reducing the pollution generated by traditional lighting systems. The technology emits ten times less CO2 than the LED bulbs that are normally used to light storefronts.

This soft light is easy on the eyes, helps reduce light pollution and is non-disruptive to existing natural ecosystems. The disruption of bird migration patterns and insect reproduction caused by artificial light is a contributing factor to the rapid decline in biodiversity.

Glowee is currently working to optimise the performance of its lighting solutions in terms of brightness and self-sufficiency. Over the past three years, the lifespan of the material has increased from a few hours to seven days. Sandra Rey is relentless in pursuing her goal: to make a real difference in the world by revolutionising the urban lighting – and landscapes – of tomorrow.

"I believe that all the solutions to our biggest ecological challenges are right under our noses. Likewise, I believe that the current biotechnological revolution is helping us better observe nature so that we can reproduce and imitate it, which will result in powerful eco-designed disruptive innovations." 

In 2016 Sandra Rey, founder and CEO of Glowee, was chosen as one of the world's most promising French innovators under 35 by MIT. We can't wait to see what she does next! 

On 3 June, Glowee will share the wonders of bioluminescence during our 'Impact Journey' – an exciting opportunity to teach our guests about the importance of biodiversity for the future of our planet.. The survey was conducted with a sample of 810 women entrepreneurs from 25 April to 17 May 2018. 


Sandra Rey ∨


As the founder and CEO of Glowee, a Paris-based startup, Sandra Rey is betting on a future powered by bioluminescence. Rey has a master’s degree from the French design school Strate College and took social entrepreneurship courses at the business school ESCP Europe.

VIDEO TedX – Sandra Rey, Founder & CEO of Glowee


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