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Vintage Power and Light: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Tungsten Since Edison!

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If you’ve been to an architectural lighting, entertainment lighting, or decorative lighting trade show lately, you should notice an interesting trend:  the lack of attention to incandescent light sources.  The light emitting diode has overtaken the world, and like myself, I miss the days of the warm tungsten filament in a room, bathing everything in its reach with a wider spectrum of color than its LED counterparts.  Tungsten filaments, at least decoratively, have become the fine wine of our lighting generation – only those with the intelligence and artistic knowledge in using tungsten and other incandescent sources have continued to do so.  The rest of the world is convinced, at the behest of excellent marketing and often regardless of price, that LED illumination is not only the way of the future but also today’s only way to appropriately design lighting.

It’s a fact that in many applications, including modern high bay methodologies and architectural applications, LED light sources are winning hearts and minds over their higher-energy-consuming incandescent cousins.  Sooner than later we’re going to see higher output automated fixtures giving their HID counterparts a run for their money, too.  ETC’s LED Source Four ellipsoidal, Chauvet’s Ovation LED ellipsoidal, Altman Lighting’s ME3 ellipsoidal, and Robert Juliat’s Tibo and Zep LED profiles have taken the market by storm – and have begun pushing back on the use of tungsten-halogen sources, arc sources, and even halogen sources!

On the whole, energy costs when dealing with a large facility or venue are where LED and non-incandescent sources make a monster difference in energy costs.  But what about where energy costs are negligible, like in your home?  If saving comparatively a few dollars here and there in your home is less important than the feeling and artistic appreciation that something like an incandescent lamp brings to you, can you put a price on your happiness?  I’ve owned many a compact fluorescent lamp-based fixture in my home, and frankly I replace every single CFL with its halogen or incandescent counterpart.  It’s my decision, and I do what makes my eyes and my brain happy.

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On that thought, I introduce to you the work of Vintage Power and Light out of Austin, Texas – creator Lowell Fowler (of High End Systems fame) has started a new hobby art venture based on utilizing the beauty and intrigue of vintage lighting and electrical equipment tied with the warm glow of incandescent sources.  Even better than just the sexiness of a glowing filament structure, Vintage Power and Light takes the beauty of an Edison filament wrap source and melds it to gorgeous finished old-world wood components, then adds stunning copper and brass connections and controls.  My favorite parts of Vintage Power and Light’s work are their use of Consolidated Design glass insulators – there is nothing quite like a multi-petticoat glass insulator on a fixture with an artistic incandescent filament turning that glass into a mystical piece of glowing jewelry.  GAH!  This stuff is amazing!!!

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Lowell and York Fowler have put an interesting new spin on the idea of Steampunk-esque design by bringing old-world components and combining them with early 20th century incandescence.  The result is a stunning and refreshing take on using incandescence as not only an artistic statement, but a comfortable, familiar, and heartwarming addition to your house, office, or anywhere else that LEDs just don’t cut it.

Check out a series of gallery images below, click on any image for a light box of that gallery for your perusal!
Just make sure that you give credit where credit is due, and all of these photos are courtesy of Vintage Power and Light with photography by Tim Grivas.

First things first, Vintage Power and Light’s Table Lamps:

Vintage Power and Light’s Chandelier and Pendant series:

Got a Steampunk jones?  Vintage Power and Light does that too!

Last but not least, a gorgeous offering of sconces for your collection:

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JimOnLight says HELL YES to Vintage Power and LightAwesome offerings, guys!  We hope that the whole world sees your work and loves it as much as we do!

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High Speed Photography of Light Bulbs As They Explode, Filled with AWESOMESAUCE by Jon Smith

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I am really digging Jon Smith’s photography.  Apparently he also does some Light Art.  Jon is Wide Eyed Illuminations on Flickr — and since I’m apparently in an all-about-light-bulbs mood today, watch this and then check out what’s beneath it:

THAT, good people of the world, is some amazing shit!  Jon fills up the glass envelope of incandescent light bulbs, and then shoots that sucker with a pellet gun.  Which, as you see below, makes awesomesauce.

These are my personal favorite pics from Jon’s full set on Flickr of the light bulbs.  I’m sure you’ll find your favorites too, but check out the whole set here.

Color Splash

Kitchen Sink

Orange Cap

Feathers in Blue

Oil and Water 1

Blue Puff

Color wheel

DEXTER LAMP!

Splitting Headache

ROYGBIV

Feathers Flying

Three's company

Color Splash 2

Heart of Gold

Gold Rush

Gel Balls

NonNewtonian 2

Mason Jar Collision

Flood Light

Pink/Blue Paint

Red White and Blue

The Daily Lamp – A Special Treat, The Fuck You Lamp from Andrea Maestri

Today’s Daily Lamp goes out there to all of the negativity and poo-poo in the world – and I introduce the lamp stylings of Ms. Andrea Maestri to kick it off for us here at JimOnLight.com.

Andrea?

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Yeah!  Andrea’s Fuck You! lamp is “price available on request,” so there’s another middle finger right up there!  From the Andrea Maestri website on the Fuck You! Lamp:

Table lamp
Aluminium, leather, studs, polycarbonate, plexiglass
Ø20 x 56H cm (Ø7.8″ x 22″H)
2011

That’s all she wrote, folks!  Andrea, we here at JOL – LOVE IT!

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Thanks Designboom, and Refinery 29, and Incredible Things!

Getting to Know the LED Ellipsoidal Generation – A JimOnLight Series Introduction

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I’ve done a lot of shows in my career so far. I’m lucky as hell, don’t get me wrong – but because of it, I feel like I have a real “bond” with incandescent and high-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) that we use in this industry. It’s almost creepy sometimes – in my head, I know how a good ol’ no-color Source Four looks in a dark theatre. I know how an Altman 360Q looks in a theatre sitting next to it, too – and how it looks sitting with a Shakespeare, also uncorrected, next to a Source Four. As I close my eyes to write this, I can see how an old Strand 30-degree feels inside of a theatre or outside during an outdoor performance, and how a tried-and-true PAR64 can burns so beautifully bright and amber when it’s going through red shift during a nice slow fade-up during a song in an arena. Even awesome old Kliegl 6×8’s have a good beam still, as long as the optics are changed from those miserable step lenses!

As a side note, I listened to Vesa Honkonen tell a story when I was attending graduate study in Sweden about “trusting” the light from a certain type of reflector, and how that trust cost him time and money on a project.  So as a bit of an aside, with every statement is an equal anti-statement!

I have gotten to know the fixtures in our industry very well because I’ve been fortunate to use them in a real variety of performance situations and installations. When you get to know something like an ellipsoidal fixture with an incandescent lamp in it and you use it over and over and over again, you get to trust the fixture.  I can say with ease that I trust the light that comes from the business end of a Source Four; at the same time, I trust the light that comes out of an Altman 360Q as well, whether it has an HX601 lamp in it or an old FEL lamp.  As a designer, as an artist — I know what that light from an incandescent lamp in one of the “typical” variety of ellipsoidals is going to do for me in a scene on actors of any skin tone, or on a presenter during, or on film and video, and whether it has a chunk of R26 or L181HT in it.  I know that kind of light.  I trust that light.

In the world we live in now, incandescent lamps are slowly becoming forcefully shunned by a growing portion of the lighting industries as a whole (and politicians, sadly), with LED replacements becoming the forced norm by pretty much all of the companies that at one time were pushing an incandescent based fixture.  These companies are all now driving quickly on the road of a really good trend: to produce a fixture that provides the same kind of light or better than that of an incandescent lamp based fixture with a lot less power consumption and without losing any light quality.  Sounds easy enough, right?

There is a strange, edgy, “new car smell” feeling towards the new strains of LED fixtures making their births into the industry.  We are inundated with them at the trade shows in our business, just like we were with the incandescent conventionals.  Manufacturers, this is perfectly acceptable, and I think that it’s one of your biggest assets in this industry.  It’s your job to make us trust your fixtures, through hands-on videos and “shoot-outs” between incandescent and LED fixtures out there.  My informal surveying of conference attendees over the last three years has seen many responses like “TOO MANY LEDS” and “If I see another crappy wannabe LED fixture at another trade show, I’m going to die.”  Believe it or not, this is a really good thing — it provides an opportunity for the exceptional equipment to rise to the top of the Diode Ocean, as I like to call it.  Lately, these exceptions are overcoming their inferior rivals, much to my happiness.

Users, we have a job to do, too — we have to give the manufacturers the chance to trust LED light.  We have to learn how it is different than its incandescent counterparts.  We’ve had all of these decades to learn how to work with incandescent light (and HID light too, for what it’s worth), and we know it.  We trust it, and we love it.  But why is that?  It’s because it’s what we know, and it really is that simple.  Once we give the LED ellipsoidal generation a chance, you know we’re going to trust that too.  This isn’t to say that LEDs are done developing, this obviously isn’t true.  But I am noticing some unbelievably incredible advances in LED engines and output technology lately, especially after LDI in October 2012, and I have to say that I am finally ready to learn to trust LED conventional ellipsoidals.  It’s hard not to at this point to see that LED ellipsoidals are becoming the obvious choice, with the color temperature tuning we see now and the low power requirement that they provide — and to argue against energy consumption and power conservation is just not in my DNA.

Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to be comparing the LED conventional ellipsoidals we see in Entertainment to their incandescent counterparts over the next month, starting with ETC’s new Source Four LED line first, followed by Robert Juliat’s Zep and Tibo ranges, then moving on to the RevEAL Profile from Prism Projection, and so on.  In the mean time, let’s take a look at the characteristics I’ll be examining that I find important to applying trust, at least on paper – you can argue that there are more to see, but for the sake of argument, let’s start with:

  • Cost Comparison:
    What kinds of costs are we looking at over the course of an LED Ellipsoidal lifetime?  How different is it, really?
  • Light Output, or Perceived Brightness:
    How does it compare to a comparable incandescent conventional?
  • Spectral Analysis:
    What is the white light in the beam comprised of with respect to wavelength?
  • Power Consumption:
    When you put an LED ellipsoidal up against an incandescent lamp at 575W, how does it perform?
  • Weight:
    I have to stick these in a truck and on a truss at some point, so what is the difference I need to know?
  • Controllable Properties:
    Obviously I have only a few with an incandescent fixture, so what comes stock in an LED ellipsoidal that makes a difference?

Let’s go on this journey together.  When we work on something together as an industry, we get to make it how we want it to be, and manufacturers listen.  Once we started to get involved with the ways that incandescent lamps were developed and lighting designers started demanding better control over design and engineering of incandescent lamps, they improved.  All we have to do now is learn what the LED Ellipsoidal generation can do for us, and we can really make a difference.

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The Daily Lamp – LogLamp from Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen

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Talk about minimalist, this must be the week of minimalist brain waves in the designer department!  This is a lamp based on a log in a fireplace; you push down on it to turn it on, it lights up.  Push down on it again, off it goes.

Meet LogLamp, from Finn designers Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen:

LogLamp from Jussi Peso on Vimeo.

From the websites of Jari Nyman and Olli Mustikainen:

LOG lamp. Inspiration has come from a burning log in a fireplace. Press the wood block down and it pops up to expose the light. Press it again and it switches the light off.
Materials: various types of wood
Finishing: wood wax

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Pretty cool!

The Daily Lamp – Naica, Reminiscing On Carbide Lamps and Caverns, from @SomethingBureau

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Today’s Daily Lamp offering is something pretty cool from Something.

Seriously. The design firm is called Something. Two designer pals, Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri, created an industrial design firm that seems to be doing pretty well. Today’s Daily Lamp is certainly something I would own, fo sho!

Naica is the name of a northern Mexican city, pretty famous for its crystal mine.  Have you ever seen images of the mammoth crystal formations in Mexico?

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Yeah.  It’s that one.

From the product page for Naica at Something:

Reminding a bit on a cavern itself, these lamps are inspired by carbide lanterns from the past, originally used by miners.  The light is diffused by reflection, creating a gently faded glow on the inner surface of the ceramics.
The cable covered with fabric doubles as a handle to easily move the lamp from one spot to another.  The lamp is available either in white or with a red coloured cavity.

This is a really stunning lamp. I would love to see this sitting in my bedroom right now!

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For contrast, the lamp makers mention its inspiration draws from carbide lamps from the mining days.  Have you seen one of these?

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I had to know more about this crazy cave at Naica.  This thing has crystals of Selenite that are 4 feet wide in some places.  That boggles my mind!  I found this crazy video of a team going into the cave — for some reason they’re all packed up with ice.  I’ve seen several videos now that have people trapsing through the Naica caves, but none with the kind of protection this crew has.

Let’s Compare Energy Efficient Lighting Technologies! [Infographic]

Do you know just how relevant to my interests THIS infographic is?!

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This is an awesome infographic — a comparison and history of some of our energy efficient lighting technologies.  Check it out!

Let’s Compare Energy Efficient Lighting Technologies!

Energy-Efficient-Lighting-Technologies-infographicThanks, Precision Paragon!

 

Super Mario Mushroom Lamp!

HAHA!  Ok, I played so much Super Mario and Super Mario 2 when I was a kid.  It was always fun playing with my sister (Mario 1 of course) when we were kids, but I’m sure I was a complete gamehog too.  Sorry, sis.

Check out the SUPER MARIO MUSHROOM LAMP!  These little gems are only twenty bucks!

GAAAAAA!  “Memories….”

The person selling them on Etsy is Emma Burges.  Twenty bucks, people!  She’ll make a green or red capped one for you, so you can either have your Super Mario “viagara mushroom” (thanks KP) or a 1UP mushroom!

Awesome.

Thanks Trendhunter, Waylou, and NerdApproved!

The John Allen Lamp Project

Doesn’t that sound like a fusion jazz quartet starring some crazy bass player who has dreadlocks?  His bass is all paint-erroded from all of the years he spent playing bass in smoky little jazz clubs in groups with names like Steven Tyler PJs and Neil McKarren’s Big Fat Bootie.  But in the case of the John Allen Lamp Project, it’s nothing but smooth sailing for our imaginary bass player friend I just invented because I should get out more.

Check this out:

This is an animation of John Allen’s lamp — plywood, sturdy, taking the idea of using construction materials as the fore element to a new level.  That’s how I see it.  You can also go to John’s Instructables and make your own.  John Allen is just that awesome, as the best work should be.  Free for all to enjoy.  Thanks, John, this rocks!

Screenshots of the Instructables page from John’s Instructables project on the John Allen Lamp project.  Check it out.

Lamps That You Shoot On and Off

My dad would love this.

HEY DAD!  CHECK THIS OUT!

Also, this:

This is from a company called bitplay, INC from Japan.  About the lamp:

BANG! is a desk lamp with a gun-shaped remote controller. User can fire the “gun” to turn the light off. The light goes out and the lampshade knocks to the side, showing that it’s been hit. To turn it back on, simply shot it again, and the lampshade will raise up slowly and turn the light back on at the same time.

So obviously you know now that it’s called BANG! – I’m guessing.