Sunday, February 18, 2007

design: floor lamp

We needed a floor lamp to reach over a sofa.
  • Artemide inflates their Tolomeo design (1989) to make a Mega version for a reasonable $500. But unlike their killer Tizio (1972, by Richard Sapper), I've always felt the Tolomeo poorly engineered and not especially attractive.
  • Similarly, Flos inflates the Archimoon by Philippe S+arck to make the Superarchimoon. Limn has it on display, it's better constructed than the Tolomeo but costs $7000.
  • Giant AnglepoiseAnd again Anglepoise inflates their eponymous Anglepoise, but it's not readily available in the USA.
  • Flos Arco lampFlos also makes the classic Arco lamp (1962, by Achille Castiglioni) with a shade on a curve for $2500 but that's real Carrara marble. Nice, but too 60s white shag rug conversation pit, and our living room has a low-ish ceiling. You can buy knockoffs of this for less.
As I bitched elsewhere, all of these use crappy wasteful incandescent bulbs. They're playing with scale but there's no re-engineering of the light source.

IKEA Samtid floor lampWe finally found Samtid at IKEA. $34.99 plus CFL bulb. Sold!

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eco: where are the brilliant LED lamp designs?

Went to Design Within Reach looking for some lamps. They have lots of OK "mid-century" designs for lamps, but almost every single one is packing a bloody incandescent bulb, one that wastes 95% of its electricity as heat. Have they not learned about compact fluorescents? Go to IKEA and every lamp has a CFL.

What's worse, is where are the LED lamps with brightness adjustability, color mixing, and amazing new forms that take advantage of the featherweight of LEDs? DWR only had two LED lamps, they should have dozens.

There's more technology in a $35 Black Diamond LED headlamp for the outdoors than in any lamp in the entire store. Pathetic! I guess "designers" only know how to mount a conventional bulb socket onto their creations. Actually mastering LED circuitry and electronic controls is too hard for them.

As I said before, Design without engineering is bad design, and there's a lot of it out there.

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