Lighting Engines

Exploring how to create a lamp that will instruct its user in how to use it via its form

Project Prompt (11.10.16)

Today we were taught how to create circuits with LED bulbs, wires, and a mercury tilt switch. When you orient the tilt switch upwards, the circuit is complete and the light turns on, but when you orient it on its side or upside down, the light turns off and the circuit is incomplete.

Exploration and sketching (11.15.16)

I explored different forms and models for my lamp. I liked traditional silhouettes of lamps and worked on drawing out an idea based on this preference.

sketches of possible forms

Some exploration:

I made a paper mache lightbulb (like the one drawn above), but it got ruined when I let it dry outside. I also made a little flower-looking lamp that had a light inside of it. I did not take photos of either of these, and they were lost when the studio was cleaned. I also had my lights stolen from me!

First Iteration:

I decided to make one of the lamps I drew in my sketchbook.

My first iteration of my lamp

Some of the flaws I saw in my lamp were:

  • The craft was shoddy
  • The wiring made it hard to turn on the lamp (the on/off stages weren’t clear and obvious)
  • The form of the base made me uncomfortable
  • I didn’t like the four pillars at each corner of the lamp’s shade because I felt like they made the shade look less seamless

Second (and final) iteration:

Working process

My final lamp changed form. I decided to make the base of it completely edged like a regular rectangle (with round edges), and I decided to keep the rice paper for the material of my shade. I added wood as a touch to my switch.

Final iteration

Final thoughts/ take aways (12.6.16):

I really wish I had dedicated more of myself to this project. I was very sick throughout most of it, so I did not explore as much as I wished to.

I learned:

  • Laser cutting is preferable to cutting things by hand (I wish I knew how to laser cut!)
  • That craft is EXTREMELY important — I do not want to use things that have poor craft
  • That lamps don’t always have to look like lamps. I could have explored different, unusual forms
  • Sleep is a necessary evil
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.