New eco-friendly invention

By | Science & Technology
Source - Electolux Design Lab 2012 Michael Oechsle

Designers are taking part in creating homes to feel more like nature by inventing new interior pieces.

Michael Oechsle, an Australian designer, has presented a new lighting technology that is bio-powered. He says: “As a future orientated concept, it was designed to inspire the next generation of kitchen and home products”. He adds, “The idea just came from a lot of research and brainstorming about new combinations of sensory experiences and how these could be implemented in the ‘heart’ of the home.”

A toy garden within the lamp acts as a power source for the OLED lights. This new technology may be efficient, saving on bills and the environment. The lamp starts to produce the light when the natural lighting decreases. As long as the reservoir is topped up with fresh water, the “earth battery” may sustain power.

Electolux Design Lab Michael Oechsle

Electolux Design Lab Michael Oechsle

The new technology allows herbs to grow inside the torch, which may be used for cooking. The plants might grow upside-down; therefore the gravity-based watering system is designed to slowly infuse the ground, using a container located at the top. The reservoir is designed efficiently to minimize the water evaporation, which is inevitable during the natural process of the ordinary upright plants.

The large pot allows any small herbs to grow and even medium sized vegetables. By creating plants, the lamps may improve the air in the house. The luminaire far from needs to be plugged into a wall to work, as it relies on the autonomous concept.

The invention has already influenced other designers: “So all of a sudden there has been a lot of interest in the concept! I have far from any plans to put it into production anytime soon- however I’ll be keeping an eye out for any herb garden lights I see popping up anytime soon!” – Michaels says.

In order to let housewives feel as if they were in the countryside, one more invention came out – a terrarium lamp. This concept, modeled by a Czech designer Krstyna Pojerova, also allows herbs, berries and plants to be brought into an indoor space. The terrarium luminaire is created from an oval shaped glass bowl and uses LED technology.

According to LED pioneer Roland Haitz, around 20 per cent of the electricity that is produced may be used for lighting. If every house substitutes current lamps with LED lamps, especially the ones that generate energy from soil, more than 25 per cent of the energy might be saved.

Michael says his LivingLight “is designed to exist in a future home using future technologies. That being said, the majority of the lamps would not be overly expensive to produce physically today- with the main body being molded cork polymer composite and glass components.

As for the OLED lights being powered by the soil and plants itself… who knows, maybe in 10 years that might be a real possibility!” It is yet unknown how much lamps like LivingLight may cost, however if people switched to alternative lighting it might save them on average £1,800 a year.

How might eco-friendly design technologies help maintain ecological balance?

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