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BEACON - the responsive task lamp that you can build yourself
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Beacon is a new kind of task lamp - responsive to its environment, minimalist and elegant in form, and simple enough to be made at home.
Beacon has no switches or knobs. It turns on whenever someone enters the room, and turns off after five minutes of inactivity. Once it's on, it modulates its light output to keep the task at hand perfectly illuminated. When the ambient light dims (maybe the sun is setting, but the job isn't done?) Beacon increases its output to keep the working light perfectly steady, without any need to interrupt one's focus. The cantilevered design also leaves the smallest possible footprint on a desk, maximizing workspace.
Beacon is an idea for a series of lamps built from aluminum and wood. The set comprises a highly designed catalogue version and ranges all the way to a DIY version, with points in between. The fully refined version includes precisely milled aluminum parts and carefully cut, grooved, and mitered pieces of solid hardwood. The DIY model uses pre-formed thin aluminum bar stock and cabinet-grade birch plywood, and can be cut and assembled using no more than a saw, hand drill, clamps, and glue.
Inside the lamp, there is an Arduino and three simple circuits to provide input to the computer - one connected to a photoresistor, another connected to a passive infrared motion sensor, and a third that uses those sensors to control the light. For the showroom version of the lamp, this would be on a custom printed circuit board, which could also be purchased independently for the DIY version, as part of an all-you-need start pack. However, the circuits are simple enough to be assembled on a breadboard at home with no specialty tools.
The lights themselves are also variable, and contain most of the materials cost of the design. The CREE LED array in the full version provides a very high Kelvin light output to mimic the natural, warm feel of the sun. A DIY kit would also include warm LED's that can be easily assembled using adapter cables at home. This is housed under custom cut frosted glass, or sandblasted acrylic, depending on the model.
A prototype of a design somewhere between the DIY and deluxe versions can be seen on Xander's website. http://xanderbremer.com/beacon