The ra Lighting System was developed from an original idea by Norman Foster for an advanced new lighting product, which would be capable of transferring data and power. Working with Artemide, the practice developed a multifunctional system, adaptable for a wide range of demands and activities. On one level, it is simply an elegant product for the incorporation of fluorescent strips. On another, the system is highly sophisticated, allowing for a multitude of components, including track lights, motion sensors, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, indirect and direct fluorescence, PA systems, emergency lighting and signage, as well as existing products manufactured by Artemide. By choosing from a menu of these accessories, the product can be tuned to respond to the specific requirements of different installations.
In addition to the variety of light that ra provides, it can be used at high level en masse or individually over a work table. It can be hung, fixed directly to the ceiling or integrated into a false ceiling. The system is programmable, with electrical wire ways that can be used as service routes for data transfer and post-fit building management systems. A specially made channel allows for the installation and wiring of different lighting elements and their connection to the electrical grid and to the signal and control lines built into the devices. It is possible to add on systems by simply inserting the suitable wires into the channel.