Li Zan Wen's Heng Balance Lamp uses powerful tethered magnets as an on/off switch: bring them together to turn the lamp on and break them apart to turn it off.
The lamps are €42 on Kickstarter, where the project is fully funded (currently at €143,000 -- the initial goal was €10,000). Li is working with an established Dutch design firm called Allocacoc DesignNest, who have produced two other kickstarted manufacturing projects, neither of which attained full funding, but they do assert "experience in the design and manufacturing of innovative products." As always, caveat emptor: if you back a crowdfunded project that doesn't succeed, you may get nothing.
As Margaret Rhodes points out on Wired, the lamp uses simple materials -- bent wood, magnets -- instead of sensors to achieve its innovative controller, which is a refreshing, high-reliability choice.
I love the look and playfulness of this thing, though I wish that the lower ball/string was more thoughtfully managed when the lamp is switched off.
The two balls are the switches of the lamps. By lifting the lower ball up, it will draw the two balls together with each other's magnets inside. First they will flow in the air and when they reach a balance, the light will switch on.
Using the HENG will bring a fun, innovative and interactive twist to your life!
The HENG lamp has an attractive curved design, it creates the illusion of light passing through the wooden structure.
The most magical element of this lamp would be the switch. Two wooden balls function as the light switch. Once you pick up the lower ball and put it near the upper one, the two balls will find a balance and levitate in the middle of the lamp. Once the balance is reached, the lamp switches on.
The design has an easy structure, which makes it easy for volume production. HENG is already in the prototype stage and will be ready to be brought into the market.
Heng Balance Lamp - A unique lamp with switch in mid-air