a bedside light, turned on by a simple tilt
Have you ever gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and found yourself fumbling around for the little twisty knob on your lamp? You finally find it and turn on the light, only to be blinded by the instant brightness. I designed the Prism nightlight during my studio class to solve this age old problem.
The Prism nightlight is a bedside lamp that turns on when tilted. I was tasked with solving nighttime lighting problems while taking inspiration from a notable designer. I researched the subtle subconscious cues from Naoto Fukasawa’s design philosophy, along with his playful attitude to create the light.
The ideas were really wide open here. I explored floor lamps, table lamps, lanterns, and even flashlight styled lamps all while focusing on solving the issues at hand.
Refining the Design
After selecting several promising ideas, I refined them a bit and made quick mock-ups. This allowed me to play around with different interactions to turn on the light. I eventually gravitated toward the tilting action as it was the easiest and most intuitive to use in a dark room. I added a small indent on the end to cue the user to discover the light.
Fabricating the Prototype
Once I finalized the design, I created a Solidworks model and printed out a build plan. I made a prototype that included a tilt switch, 6 LEDs, a plastic housing, and wood ends.
The Prism nightlight was inspired by the simple motion of a seesaw. Once tilted a dim light turns on as to not overstimulate the brain and interrupt our bodies' circadian rhythm. The lamp went viral and was published on notable sites like Colossal, Core77, Complex, and Fast Co. The Prism nightlight even went on to be featured in a short film by Michele Benigna and unfortunately got knocked off on Aliexpress. I hope to one day redesign it and take version 2.0 to market.
Prism Nightlight by Nicholas Baker / Fall 2013 / Savannah College of Art and Design