There are two meanings for illumination: light and knowledge. As such, a lamp that looks like a book seems apropos -- and Lumio by San Francisco architect and industrial designer Max Gunawan immediately appeals.
When you open its cover, a concertina crafted to resemble the pages acts as a filter for the bright LEDs inside.
It's not just a pretty face, though. Like a book, it's portable, its lithium ion rechargeable with a discreet charging port hidden in the spine. Because it's lit with LEDs, its power consumption is low, lasting up to 8 hours. Neodymium magnets in the cover mean you can stick it to metal surfaces, and the wooden cover is flexible for a variety of configurations.
Gunawan lists a number of applications for its use: table lamp, wall sconce, ceiling pendant, task lighting, accent light, outdoor lighting, and emergency light.
It's not the first concept of its kind we've seen. The Book Lamp by Myung-Seo Kang surfaced in 2010, but it never made it to production, as far as we can ascertain.
Of the idea, Gunawan said:
Lumio started as an exploration to design a modular home that can fold flat and fit into a compact car. During the design development, I quickly realized that it will take a lot of capital (that I don't have) to build working prototypes for the folding house. During this period, I built a few folding architectural models that I carry around in my sketchbook.The Lumio -- which emits light slightly brighter than a 40-watt bulb -- measures 8.5 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 1.25 inches thick and weighs about a pound. Having raised nearly $550,000 on Kickstarter with 30 hours to go in its campaign, the lamp has far exceeded its $60,000 funding goal. One Lumio will set you back $95, and will ship this summer.
When I decided to pivot and translate the concept into a folding lamp, it was a natural progression to use the form of the sketchbook as a way to package the lamp. That's how Lumio was born.
This story originally appeared on CNET Australia.