Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lessons in light learned

Lesson number one: Now I know why the main light in kitchens is rarely squat in the middle of the ceiling. You end up casting a shadow over everything you do.
This life is even teaching me stuff about interior decoration. Who would have known.

Lesson number two, which is not really a new lesson, is that things sometimes look better in books, especially in line drawings, than they do in real life, or at least in my real life. Above is a nifty looking lamp with a counterweight, as presented in the book "Low Tech" (mentioned previously). Below is my attempt. I was so happy with the lamp over my bed I made one pretty much like it. But the wiring is just too unwieldy, and the lamp too light weight, for the counterweight thing to look nice.

It does work, though. It goes up. It goes down.

I now plan to come up with lots of ideas on how to make this look better, while doing nothing whatsoever about it.


Jaysen said...

What about adding a bit of heavy lead sinkers, the ones used for surf fishing, or even down riggers, to both sides? The added weight should smooth things out a bit.

Northmark said...

Ah, but the lamp itself weighs almost nothing, so I would have to add something to it as well for the counterweight system to work. The best solution is probably to hang the lamp through the pulleys in some kind of rope, and connect the electricity through a spiraled, loose hanging cable, the kind that land line phones use.

Jaysen said...

Also a good option. Not sure if you could find the coil in a heavy enough gauge for 12v.

It might be cheaper, if less sexy, to weight the lamp as well.

JP said...

Wondering if I can talk to you by email about some of the DIY lights you did? I am a student in San Francisco studying industrial design. My thesis is about making systems that allow users to be more involved in the making of what they use. So basically light kits. Like erector sets etc. Just a study of how people have no relation to what they buy or have in their homes and trying to increase that emotional attachment. I love your blog and have been reading it for an hour or so. Your dogs are beautiful too. So let me know if you want to share your thoughts?