If you were in the pub with some friends and one of them suggested the concept of a wooden light bulb, you’d probably laugh and tell them to slow down on the drink a bit. You’d be forgiven for thinking that way too – wood doesn’t exactly seem like the optimal light enhancing material, and in most homes you can be fairly sure it’s more likely to find its place as a dining table… but Japanese designer Ryosuke Fukusada doesn’t quite share that view.
Recently, Fukusada unveiled his somewhat eye catching new light bulb on his website; where he stated that it was a “mix of modern design and traditional craft technique” which was still in production. Though currently only a hand made prototype, the bulb has already won the Kyoto renaissance design competition and designers say they hope it will be on sale to the public soon.
How does it work?
So, how exactly is it possible to have light shine through wood? Is that not a bit of a fire hazard?
Well, the good news is that no, there really isn’t any danger involved. The light bulb is constructed out of a very thin layer of wood which allows an inner system of LED lights to illuminate the grain and shine through. The device is capable of producing an amazingly bright light with relatively little heat or energy consumption; though that doesn’t stop your smoke alarms nervously eying the fiery ball of wood hanging next to them.
To bring an almost futile sense of normality to the piece, a hand crafted aluminium base is attached to the bottom of the bulb to feed through the electricity.
Fukusada’s design has a number of advantages. For one thing, it’s certainly an eye catching piece to have in the home and it’s definitely a talking point at dinner parties. That aside though, there are more practical advantages such as the comparatively low energy consumption and the less harsh light which the bulb produces.
We’ve currently got a relatively limited knowledge of the finer details of the product, but we can’t help but think that it may mark a fond farewell to the days of standing on a chair unscrewing a useless bulb once the fuse breaks.
As well as that, it boasts some fairly exciting images for the future. Fukusada, who was previously employed at electronics producer Sharp, has displayed a number of other wooden products including a wicker plant pot and a rocking chair designed for younger people. With that in mind, we have to wonder what’s on his mind next.
Robin blogs about design and technology for Direct Sight, leading glasses online providers.