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Pandora Lamp: A Desk Lamp Design

November 16, 2010


lamp luminaire light lighting design task desk cfl

Meet the Pandora Lamp — my latest creation in Luminaire Design class where we were charged with developing a task lamp for a specific application.  I chose to create a desk lamp for use in an office environment.

The idea for the design came from my desire to create an interactive lamp that could provide several different types of light to suit whatever task or mood was desired.  Personal experience also played a factor here, as I often need or want two different types of light when I am working at my desk at home (or at school, for that matter) — direct light on my work surface, and indirect light on the wall in front of me (or the ceiling above) to provide a soft, ambient glow.  The Pandora Lamp solves both problems.

There are two operable flaps on the fixture that allow the user to control the direction and intensity of light on either the work surface or other walls/adjacent surfaces.  One can be left closed, both can be opened, or both can remain closed, but all three situations provide a different mood and amount of illumination.  The simplicity of the fixture’s form is also intentional — both flaps are designed to close flush with the surface of the fixture, so that when both are closed the fixture appears no more than a simple white box (which glows from within when the lamp is on).

While this full-scale model is constructed of paper materials the actual fixture would be made of high-grade opal white acrylic, which would give it a soft, seamless, glossy appearance from the outside, and transmit and reflect the light in a similar way to the foam core used in the model. (It would also allow me to charge more for it!)

lamp luminaire light lighting design task desk cfl

On the more technical side of things (in case anyone was curious), the lamp is an 18 Watt tubular compact fluorescent (which was another requirement of the project) producing 1150 lumens (approximately the same brightness as a standard 75W incandescent bulb) at 2700K, which is operated off of an 18W 120V ballast hidden in the base of the fixture.  It really is a very simple, easy to maintain fixture.  The lamp assembly pops out for easy lamp replacement and to provide access to the ballast should the need arise.

lamp luminaire light lighting design task desk cfl

In terms of its output it is a very effective and pleasing light to use (I have, in fact, been using at my desk for the past several days).  It provides a smooth, comfortable wash of light across the work surface — enough to read or write by, at least — and the color temperature gives it a very warm appearance, almost as if it were an incandescent bulb.  The warm glow it emits from the sides and top are also pleasing to have nearby when I’m working, as most of the lighting in our studio is very cool in appearance.  Overall I’m very happy with the way it turned out and I’m excited to have a new desk lamp to use while I work!  I never imagined myself building a desk lamp when I signed up for grad school, but it is a fun skill to have — after all, who doesn’t need a fun, personalized desk lamp?

All orders can be placed with my secretary, who I wish was a real person so that I could organize the mountain of work I have to do in the next week before the holiday!


One Comment

  1. November 17, 2010

    Great idea, a really good example of ‘form follows function’.

    It looks like quite visually versatile so there may be the possibility of corporate branding to use it as a promotional item??

    Slight shame about the darkspot on the side where the lamp is mounted but other than that it looks like a really successful design!

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