Lighting Design

Dyson Lightcycle Morph. Well Designed but Pricy.

When you hear the name “Dyson” the first thing that pops into your head is vacuum cleaners. Over the years Dyson has done an amazing job of advertising and marketing their vacuums and it has paid off for them. When I hear the name “Dyson” I think of the design. Industrial design and technology to be specific. Why? Because Dyson has always done a really great job of producing not only very functional products, but beautifully designed products as well.

They are a company that truly understands how form and function do go hand in hand, much the same way Apple does. Because of this, you end up paying a premium price for something that products from other manufacturers do with equal performance, but maybe not with the same quality of design and materials that Dyson offers.

Case in point the Dyson Lightcycle Morph, a new floor and task lamp from Dyson that looks at what lighting does, and how it affects mood.

the Dyson Lightcycle Morph employs local daylight tracking to offer customized solutions that mimic natural light. The lamps are connected to the Dyson Link App, allowing for full adjustability depending on the user’s task, age, mood, and local daylight.

“Task” for focused light, “Indirect” for less intense situations, “Feature” for dramatic lighting and “Ambient” for a warm glow that is designed to mimic candle light. These are the four general light settings the lamp offers. It also offers pre-set modes called “Study,” “Relax,” “Precision,” “Boost,” “Wake-Up,” “Sleep,” and “Away.” Users are able to save up to 20 custom light settings that can be controlled by a dimmer and
color temperature selection feature.

Here’s the kicker though. The lamps cost $650.00 and $850.00 respectively. So what do you get for that? Well, the LEDs are supposed to last 60 years, which if you amortize the cost over that length of time actually is an OK value. (provided the rest of the lamp lasts that long). You also get a lamp that is made from high-quality materials, with a built-in motion sensor to help save energy, integrated USD charging built into the base, and intelligent touch-activated slide controls.

“With the Dyson Lightcycle Morph, our aim was to challenge the fundamental conventions of contemporary artificial lighting and find a solution. So we developed a light that tracks natural daylight and intelligently transforms for different uses – providing the right light, at the right time, precisely where it’s needed,”

Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer.

It’s also a beautiful object in its own right. Thoughtfully designed by the Dyson team, and while that might not factor into a lot of people buying decisions, it will have an appeal for that audience that loves good design. There are truckloads of LED lamps available on the market, but in my opinion, this shows where Dyson’s design thinking extends beyond simply creating a nice looking LED task lamp.

One thing that most people don’t think about are things like packaging and assembly. How they are an integral part of the design process and the end-user experience. The video below shows how Dyson tackled this. Both the packaging and lamp assembly are done well. The packaging not only holds the parts, but it functions as an assembly stand for the base on the task lamp. (this isn’t the case on the floor lamp and in the video, the woman assembling her $850.00 is rolling it around on the floor. I think I would have put down a cloth to prevent scratches) The lamp goes together quickly and is on and ready to explore in minutes. There is some waste in the floor lamp packaging, but that’s to be expected since the vertical shaft is almost 48 inches in length. Overall Dyson did a pretty good job with this though.

“Artificial light is still a relatively new concept for humans. If you were to shrink evolution into 24 hours, artificial light would only have existed for around seven seconds.” Because of this, human circadian rhythms are still mostly in sync with the natural rising and setting of the sun. Lightcycle Morph’s adaptability moves beyond artificial light’s typical limitations to create a more realistic and personalized lighting environment for users.

Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer.

Will I be purchasing either of these lamps from Dyson? No, I won’t. I don’t have any need for either of them at this time. That doesn’t mean I can’t admire what went into the design and construction of the Dyson Lightcycle Morph. It really is a well thought out piece of industrial design that I bet quite a few people will pick up for their home or office.

Christian Troels Mutatio Lamp

Look at the Mutatio Lamp, created by Danish designer Christian Troels. What an elegant expression of form, going from a minimalist black cylinder, to an angled abstract shape.  In its closed state the lamp is a nondescript cylinder. Just a black tube that doesn’t reveal its true purpose. As it opens up, it not only makes apparent its functionality, and taking on a familiar yet new shape for a table lamp. When open it feels so familiar, yet visually fresh. Christian Troels’ Mutatio Lamp goes from simple to magical and playful in one motion. It looks like it is constructed aluminum, or steel, and painted black. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of information on his website, and nothing about where or if it can actually be purchased. Which is to bad, because I think these would be a hot item.

Panthella Mini

Verner Panton’s Panthella lamp, launched in 1971 and went on to become a design classic and is now being relaunched in a smaller version as the Panthella Mini. To help launch the new product and promote Panton’s iconic product, Frame. was commissioned by Louis Poulsen to create a spot for a lamp, and they nailed it. Frame not only captures the essence of the lamp design, they have created a look that mirrors the materials Panton used to create the original in this fun animated spot.

The legendary Danish designer Verner Panton is known for his use of powerful colors, organic shapes, and unconventional materials – designing everything from furniture to full art installations that looked, and probably felt, like an acid trip. Unsurprising, when you think that he completed a lot of his work in the 60’s.

As a starting point, we investigated Panton’s aesthetic universe and commenced designing a tour de force of lamps, eye-popping colors, and abstract shapes, inspired by the man himself. We were also encouraged by Louis Poulsen to give it our own personal touch so we had the freedom to interpret the unique style of Verner Panton with a unique twist and establish a lighter, more contemporary tone.

In the end, it was all about creating something warm, happy, alive, intelligent and playful – just like Panton himself. To create a setting for the lamps to shine (no pun intended) and allow the focus to remain on these beautifully designed objects.

Frame

Test Pattern Lamps For The Video Nerd

Do you know a video nerd in need of some new studio / edit bay / office decor? If so, this is the perfect lamp for them. Inspired by analog TV test cards, Hungarian designer Simon Forgacs has created the “Mono Lamp”, a table lamp that captures the essence of TV for a those of us who grew up with analog CRT’s. The lamps come in two variations, color, and grayscale, with the latter looking a bit like the Death Star from Star wars.  Both are constructed from a plastic globe that is suspended above an ash wood base on an aluminum pole. Each is just under 12 inches in diameter with a height of 14 inches. You can pick one up on Forgacs Indigogo site, but if you live outside of Europe you’re going to need an adapter for the Type C plugin.

 

After 8, Razor Thin Lighting.

If I still had a kitchen island that faced out into the rest of an open floor plan, this is definitely a lighting solution I would consider. After 8 Pendant by Molto Luce is a line of illumination. At just 5mm wide (0.19 inches for non metric people) this razor thin LED light is compact, simple, minimalist fixture suspended by two this lines of wire that descend from ceiling mounts.

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The pendant is just over 48 inches in length, and 3 inches tall. Constructed with a refined metal black housing, and compact light source there is an elegant simplicity to the end result that adds a level of refinement to the space without detracting from it’s surroundings.

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Austrian design firm Molto Luce was founded in 1981. The companies Italian name is reflective of their design approach and philosophy.While Molto Luce  is generally focused on commercial lighting for work environments, their pieces are considered timeless thanks to their overall design aesthetic.

 

MNML Sisifo.

I’ve spent most of my weekend trying to figure out just exactly what the previous homeowners were doing when they finished the basement in my house. Nothing is square, the wiring is a fire hazard, and the plumbing is a joke. I was going to try and fix the problems, but instead decided to tear a section out and start from scratch. After 6 hours, it’s break time, and break time led to the Internet. The Internet brought me to Sisifo, a minimalist light designed by Chicago-based firm MNML for Artemide.

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Sisifo places a disc of light, balanced above a weighted base on an articulating pole. The pole allows for 360 degrees of rotation, and for the disc to placed at the most useful angle for the end user. Designed with a small footprint, the weighted base and double ball joint were designed for minimum resistance, allowing the lamp head to effortlessly float above the base and be adjusted. Sisifo also features an intuitive on/off touch dimmer control at the front of the base that invites tactile interaction. Using a fresnel pattern, the light source is diffused eliminating any harsh shadows, creating even uniform light. Yeah I kind of want a few of these.

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Havana Lamps.

Jonathan Adler has a knack for creating designs that feel fresh, yet are heavily rooted in classic mid-century modern aesthetics. The Havana lamp is no exception to the rule. When I first saw this I thought about the pendant lamps, and table top lamps that my parents had in our house growing up in the 60’s. Our lamps were 1960’s avocado green with white interiors, but the basic shape and stands were very similar. Adler has taken that classic mid century design and updated it with modern materials, and a laser cut pattern to give these lamps a fresh yet familiar look for manufacturer Robert Abbey. One of the things that is so appealing to me about this series of lamps is the feeling of familiarity, combined with materials that give it a fresh new look.

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