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LP Lamp

A lighting project with an inspired turn. 


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Design Challenge

Create a series of lamps for sale.

This meant creating something unique, functional, and marketable.

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Ideation

I wanted the lamp to be something playful; to target a market of parents and adults aged 40-60 buying the lamp as a gift or a novelty. I also wanted to make something refined. This wasn't going to be a toy, it couldn't look or feel cheap.

Once I'd settled on making a form referencing a turntable, there were things to work out. How does it turn on? Where does the power cable come out? Do I try to use tone arms to support the bulb, or mount it straight to the body? 

Classic turntables feature a ton of little bits and bobs that would allow for a wider margin of error before I lost the refined minimalism I was aiming for, but there was still a line. More technically honest cable joints allowed me to have the cable spit out the back, like a headphone cable, and the silvery, technical look of the lamp harp that supports the lamp shade could evoke the tone arm of the turntable if I placed it correctly on the top.

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Form Development

Initially, bending these records proved exceptionally difficult. Getting a uniform press couldn't be done in the open air, as the vinyl lets off toxic gas before it becomes hot enough to bend effectively. 

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Figuring it Out

After roughly a month of ruining ovens, burning out heat guns, a heated exchange with the operator of a vacuum-former, and about 25 dollars worth of old records from Goodwill, I figured out a way to bend the records using boiling water, a jig to clamp the record, and a paint can for shape.

Final Design

Each LP Lamp uses a real record for its shade, making them unique to the customer, and providing the technical benefit of casting a bright light down and across the surface. There’s not a switch on the lamp, but spinning the turntable clockwise will turn the lamp on and off. This sets this design apart from other traditional lamps, allowing it to maintain its aesthetic without compromising on the functionality a lamp requires.

 
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