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Listen to light

Use a solar cell to convert light into sound and explore a hidden world of rhythms, melodies and textures.

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How it works

The solar cell on the Photon Smasher is sensitive to wavelengths in the infrared and visible light parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

If you shine an LED at the Photon Smasher, you'll likely hear a single constant pitch. This is due to Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), a technique LEDs use to vary the perceived power going to an LED by quickly turning the power on and off. LEDs reduce their brightness by varying the duty cycle, the time spent on versus off. The rate of the PWM is directly linked to the pitch frequency heard when listening to LEDs with the Photon Smasher.

Support Our Work

CLIP empower young people to take creative risks and get curious with sound. The Photon Smasher was developed through our education work, and all income generated by its sales go back into our social enterprise.

Photon Smasher

A Microphone for Light

Explore the physics of light and sound to turn arcade signs into thumping drum beats and light up toys into futuristic synthesisers.

  • Line level signal

  • Mono 3.5mm output

  • Powered by light

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What to listen to?


Uncover a sonic layer to light installations


Turn flashing lights into distorted drum beats


Discover melodies hidden in plain sight

Get your own Photon Smasher now

Listen to the sound of light with the Photon Smasher. Limited numbers available.