September 23rd, 2005
Between 20-25% of the energy consumed in UK households is used by lighting. So a light that indicates how much energy is being consumed within the home at any moment seems a particularly appropriate innovation
Stockholm-based industrial designer Front has done just this. It has designed the Flower Lamp, a 1m-long prototype made of slices of reflective plastic which open and close like a flower, in response to energy use in the home. The lamp incorporates a mechanical motor connected to a digital meter, which monitors energy use. The motor then determines to what extent the plastic strips that make up the lamp’s “petals” are opened or closed. The lamp only opens when the occupier is restrained in their power consumption — if too much is used it closes again.
This is just one of the many imaginative prototypes that are being developed by the Swedish Interactive Institute’s research project called Static! in which designers, engineers and artists use design to solve energy issues.
The Bubble Lamp designed by Front is a paper lampshade that “bubbles” when the lamp is switched on visually demonstrating how energy is being released.