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Tag Archives: Lighting

ISS Lamp Only Glows When The International Space Station Is Overhead

ISS Lamp (Image courtesy Nathan Bergey)
By Andrew Liszewski

As its creator Nathan Bergey points out: “The International Space Station (ISS) is a marvel of current technology and humanity. It’s a continuously inhabited orbital outpost, floating in space just over our heads. But often we forget it’s there.” So as a constant reminder, and a great way to know when you might actually have a chance of seeing it pass overhead, he created this ISS Notify lamp which lights up and remains glowing as long as the station is more than 10 degrees above the horizon.

The actual data for when the ISS passes overhead (for wherever on Earth you may be) is gleaned from a website called Heavens-Above which already does all of the calculations for the station’s orbit, which can occasionally change unpredictably. And because the ISS is designed to benefit all of mankind, Nathan was also kind enough to post everything you’d need to build your own ISS Notify lamp (minus the hardware) on GitHub.

[ Nathan Bergey – ISS Notify ] VIA [ Craft ]

Jacko Steps Turn Your Backyard Into A Michael Jackson Music Video

Jacko Steps (Images courtesy Roberto Paoli)
By Andrew Liszewski

Inspired by the music video for Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, designer Roberto Paoli created these faux backyard stepping stones that are lit from within. Their soft glow can be used to illuminate or draw attention to a garden area, or simply make it easier for someone to navigate your backyard in the dead of night. Unfortunately unlike the magical tiles in Michael Jackson’s video these steps don’t specifically light up when stepped or danced on, but they are a slick alternative to the more traditional individual lights that landscapers often use to illuminate walkways. As for pricing and availability? According to Ballerhouse you should be able to get them from Serralunga, an Italian design shop, but I haven’t had much luck finding them on their site.

[ Robert Paoli – Jacko Steps ] VIA [ Ballerhouse ]

Lightstarter Flashlight Will Test Your Fire Making Skills

Lightstarter Flashlight (Images courtesy Simple Artifact)
By Andrew Liszewski

Instead of turning a crank or awkwardly shaking it to squeeze a few minutes of illumination out of it, the Lightstarter flashlight takes the Survivorman approach by having you rub it between your hands as if you were starting a fire with a stick. Of course we all know that starting a fire in the wild isn’t quite that easy, but it’s a nice throwback to times when fire was really are our only artificial source of light. And like other dynamo powered flashlights the Lightstarter will run longer the more effort you put into it. Three seconds of rubbing gives you about thirty seconds of illumination, while a full minute rewards you with up to ten minutes of light.

Unfortunately at the moment the Lightstarter is just a concept waiting for partnership or purchase, so you’ll probably be better off actually finding a pair of sticks and starting a fire yourself than waiting for this to go into production.

[ Lightstarter Flashlight ] VIA [ Inhabitat ]

Peg Lamp Is Sure To Put An End To Annoying Lightbulb Changing Jokes

Peg Lamp (Images courtesy Steffi Min)
By Andrew Liszewski

Do you know how many people it takes to change the lightbulb on the Peg lamp designed by Steffi Min? Just one dammit! It’s shaped and works like an over-sized clothespin so there’s no screwing or anything like that involved. You just squeeze it open, stick a bulb inside the clampy bit and then close it. The bulb’s metal base will then touch the necessary electrical contacts inside making it light up. It also seems impossible to break the bulb when installing/uninstalling it because the usual forces from screwing are completely gone. And since it’s part of Steffi Min’s industrial design senior thesis, it’s also impossible to buy since I’m sure this version is just a one-off.

[ Vimeo – Peg ] VIA [ Gadget Review ]

Black Light iPhone Dock Bridges 1970’s Technology With Modern Toys

Black Light in Stereo iPhone Dock (Image courtesy The Sharper Image)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sharper Image you’ve done it again! Your random Mad Libs style approach to product design (An iPhone dock with a built-in _________) has led to this mashup of classic 1970’s-era lighting with modern gadgetry. Called the Black Light in Stereo this awkward 4-foot long dock has a set of stereo speakers located at each end, bridged by a long, thin black light in-between that can either be left on steady, set to pulse or even react to the music being played with a ‘Music Response’ mode. It’s of course compatible with iPods as well as the iPhone, and it’s just $149.99 for the opportunity to purposely expose yourself to increased levels of ultraviolet light while rocking out!

[ Black Light in Stereo iPhone Dock ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Alessi Reimagines The Light Bulb – We Like What They Come Up With

AlessiLux (Images courtesy Alessi)
By Andrew Liszewski

Our civilization is pretty dependent on light bulbs when you think about it. But for some reason, as important as they are to us, we go out of our way to keep them out of sight by hiding them behind shades and what not. I personally think they deserve the spotlight, so I like what the Italian design firm Alessi came up with when they decided to re-imagine the light bulb. Their new AlessiLux Foreverlamps turn the bulbs into decorative pieces of art, encouraging you to display them proudly, not tucked away behind a sconce.

The various designs for all of the new LED-based bulbs were created by three artists: Giovanni Alessi Anghini, Gabriele Chiave and Frederic Gooris, and there are styles available to match any kind of decor. From classic to modern to even kids’ rooms. The bulbs are all LED-based too which of course makes them far more energy efficient than incandescents, but it also means they tend to run on the expensive side. Each of the 7 different designs are ~$62 (€42.50) a piece, but keep in mind you’ll actually be saving money in the long run by making the switch, not to mention the improvements they’ll bring to your home decor.

[ Foreverlamp ] VIA [ designboom ]

Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock Is All About The Mood Lighting

Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock (Image courtesy CKIE)
By Andrew Liszewski

If a couple of entrepreneurs are able to raise enough money, Philips’ stranglehold on the color-changing ambient lighting market will soon be over! Designed by Ken Ouyang the Black Diamond is technically just another iPhone dock, but manages to set itself apart from the billions of others already on the market with a frosted, faceted sphere design that uses an accompanying iPhone app to create a continuously changing pattern of colors.

First and foremost the Black Diamond will serve as a colorful art piece sitting on your desk or bedside table, but other functions will also be available including voice controlled dynamic color effects, wake up and sleep functions and the ability to even let you know when a message from a friend has arrived based on an assigned color scheme. It’s a clever use of the iPhone while it’s sitting unused for syncing and/or charging, and if you think you’d like to help them reach their goal of $30,000 then head on over to CKIE where you can make an investment.

[ Black Diamond Interactive Ambiance iPhone Dock ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

I’m Sure There’s Lots Of Demand For A $1,300 Morse Code Signal Lamp These Days Right?

Morse Code Signal Lamp (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not saying it will never be useful, I’m just saying I’m finding it hard to see how anyone could justify dropping $1,300 on a decorative morse code lamp, even if it is fully functional. It’s got seven louvers covering the 13 1/2-inch lamp which are controlled by a metal handle, and the aluminum and brass finishes give it an authentic look that I’m sure any family member who served in the Navy in the late 1800’s will appreciate. Though in lieu of the carbon arc lamps of yesteryear it uses a single 100-watt bulb of your choosing for your illumination. So purists beware! Available from where other than Hammacher Schlemmer.

[ Morse Code Signal Lamp ]

Panasonic’s One-Core LED Bulbs Produce Cleaner Shadows And More Aesthetically Pleasing Silhouettes

Panasonic One-Core LED Bulbs (Image courtesy DigInfo TV)
By Andrew Liszewski

LED-based lightbulbs are superior to incandescent and even CFL bulbs when it comes to energy efficiency and overall eco-friendliness, but they’re not a perfect alternative, at least not yet. In order to produce the equivalent amount of light as other bulbs, they use a cluster of small LEDs to boost the overall luminosity. But apparently those clusters create multiple shadows, and a projected silhouette (when the bulbs are shining on a wall for example) that’s not as aesthetically pleasing as incandescents or CFLs. Not exactly a huge issue plaguing most consumers given LED bulbs are still considerably more expensive than the alternatives, but apparently enough of one for Panasonic to dedicate some R&D dollars to improving their design.

What they came up with is a new LED bulb that features a single core resulting in cleaner shadows and more aesthetically pleasing silhouettes. Something I’m sure most consumers will demand one day. As far as I can tell they still use a multiple LED technique on the inside, they’re just being brought together in a new way that improves their overall performance. Like most LED bulbs the One-Core uses about 50% less power than a CFL, but apparently they also use about 15% less power than a traditional LED bulb, so the improvements are win-win all around. They’ll be available starting April 21 in two versions, with more options including different color temperatures and dispersion types coming later on.

[ DigInfo TV – EVERLEDS One-Core LED downlight with clean shadows ]