Notes and thoughts about designing human interfaces and products.

Pixel Light

May 01 2017

An experiment in materials and lighting

Pixel Light 1

I've always had a penchant for interesting lighting solutions. With this project I took the opportunity of scratching my own itch, while getting to spend some time in the workshop. It's nice to take a break from regular pixels.

Just to mix it up.

The final result is a square lighting piece, made to stand on the floor of a room, leaned towards a wall. It's lit by LEDs within an oaken frame, covered by a panel of acrylic.

Pixel Light 2

While LED-lighting is easy to work with, the light sources tends to be very piercing unless diffused. Using a translucent material solves this problem. Here I'm using a piece of white acrylic, 80% translucent to light.

An even distribution of the LEDs around the frame together with the acrylic almost perfectly diffuses the light, and makes the individual LEDs invisible to the viewer.

Want some inspiration on translucent materials? Here's my Pinterest board

Pixel Light 3

The Pixel can give ambient light to a room using any color from the RGB spectrum.

Pixel Light 4

One of the main design goals was to make the Pixel nice to look at during daylight, when it's not functional as a light source itself.

The frame is made out of untreated oak, to keep the wood finish soft and desaturated. I tend to enjoy living with untreaded wood materials more, partly from the look, but also because they interact more with the environment, and change. In most cases, stains or damages can be restored anyway with just some sanding, if that's a concern.

Pixel Light 5

Building something similar? I'd love to hear from you! I'm always up for talking design, parts and techniques on Twitter or email.

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