Lamps with Personality

We all need light in the darkness, but the variety of lamps available can boggle the mind. Anything can be made into a lamp, if you can attach a battery or run an electrical cord through it. The lamps you display in your home say something about your personality, so choose carefully. Here are some I've taken a shine to.

The Abduction Lamp was designed by Lasse Klein and is not yet available for sale. Otherwise, I'd have one ordered already! The cow or a human will be an add-on accessory.

Kelly Butler at Tramp Lamps (a "dangling bordello of unmentionables") makes lighting out of vintage lingerie and corsets. What looks like either a work of art or a public display of laundry during the day will fill a room with a sultry glow at night.

More illumination, after the jump.

Gooseneck lamps can be made to resembled anything flexible or somewhat curved. This Spinal-column Lamp has become somewhat of a hit in chiropractors' offices. Flexible? Of course!


I bought this Robot Desk Lamp by Holmes for my brother for Christmas. It shines a light from its face, and holds your pens and other tools in its adjustable arms. It was once in stores all over, but doesn't seem to be avilable anywhere now.

The Wet Lamp has a light bulb submerged in water! A silver rod acts as a dimmer switch when it is adjusted into the water. This might scare you (it does me), but the site says it is safe. Still, I can imagine a cat or a child knocking this off the furniture and watching it shatter while plugged in.

A lightbulb doesn't have to have a shade when it's this clever. The Lamp Lamp is a 30 watt lightbulb that can be used in any standard socket, guaranteed to draw stares and smiles.

Sleekness and usability come together in the Mini-Z LED Desk Lamp. It has six adjustable joints, 40 energy-efficient LEDs, and takes up almost no room. Too bad it's not available right now.

Make your own White Trash Lava Lamp from a glass jug and an old saucepan. The point to this would be mainly to prove you could do it, but the author cautions that it could be dangerous. I'd take his word for it.

Instructables will show you how to make this lampshade out of trash. Trash meaning printed paper and coffee grounds.

You might have a stack of old CDs, or possibly all those discs AOL is constantly sending out. Recycle them into a lamp! The plastic used to make a disc thick enough to handle is horizontally transparent and a flourescent tube gives a soft glow. Jim Watters has instructions for making your own, using either an AC cord or batteries.

TheANIMEX is a new lighting system inspired by the bioluminescence of deep-sea animals, a process combining two chemicals to produce light without heat. TheANIMEX features an LED layer and a reflective layer, which combine to produce 3D effects in space. It can be designed to cover a variety of surfaces, such as buildings, walls, and even furniture!

Courtesy of Studio Segers
These Unique Benches Are Made From Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bags
Courtesy of Studio Segers
Courtesy of Studio Segers

When sent to a landfill, some plastic waste will sit there for centuries before breaking down. The Belgian design firm Studio Segers has found an alternative use for the plastic containers some people throw away by re-purposing them into innovative outdoor seating. This modular bench spotted by design milk is made from used yogurt cups, butter tubs, and plastic bags and is 100 percent recyclable.

Commissioned by the recycling company ECO-oh!, the H-bench consists of slender, plastic components. They come with or without backrests and are available in dark gray, medium gray, light gray, pastel green, pastel blue, and beige. Snap three of them together and you have a chair. Keep adding pieces to build a snug love-seat or a bench long enough to fit a crowd.

Recycled bench.
Courtesy of Studio Segers

The seat is designed to be customized to suit the user’s taste. Chair backs can face one way or alternating directions; the bench can feature multi-colored stripes or a uniform shade; one side can have seat backs while the opposite end is built for laying down.

The makers didn’t skimp on quality to make their product sustainable: The H-bench is made from plastics called polyolefins, which means it's durable enough to stay strong and vibrant even in harsh outdoor conditions. Get a closer look at the smart design in the video below.

[h/t design milk]

The Elements
Sit Down at a Periodic Table That Holds Samples of Every Element

The periodic table maps out the atomic numbers, electron configurations, and chemical properties of all the elements found on Earth (both in nature and in the lab). But have you ever wondered what a traditional periodic table would look like as a physical table? That’s the question Wolfram Research co-founder Theo Gray asked himself years ago, and the wooden Periodic Table Table was his answer.

As you can see in the video below from Reactions, the furniture piece he built at his office looks like something you might find in your dining room, albeit a little more educational. Its surface features dozens of wooden squares, each one etched with the information for a different element. Beneath each wooden panel, there's a compartment that contains a sample of that element from the real world.

Gray’s table includes straightforward examples of the elements, like a jar of mercury and a chunk of bismuth, as well as some more creative entries like an aluminum knee implant. The 2400-plus items in his collection have long since spilled beyond the table and onto his shelves. While many of the objects are stored within the table itself, in some cases, he has too many examples of one element to keep them in the same spot. Some, like the knee implant, are just too bulky to fit. Valuable elements like gold and dangerous items—like a radioactive bottle of the early 20th-century quack-medicine Radithor—are also kept in more secure locations.

Even Gray’s vast inventory reflects just a small slice of how we see the chemical elements manifested in everyday life. For more examples of where you can find elements in the world around you, check out this illustrated table.

[h/t Reactions]


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