Make CMYK Shadow Puppets with This LED Lamp

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It's taken a while for the humble LED to gain a foothold in the broader consumer market—blame artisanal culture or simple force of habit, people love their cream-colored incandescent bulbs. But as the New York Times devoted 1600 words to explaining yesterday, more and more designers are jumping on the LED bandwagon. Case in point: the CMYK Bulb by the Dutch lighting designer Dennis Parren.

Parren's pendant lamp is business on the bottom, party up top: a normal white LED points downwards, while a set of upward-facing LEDs cast CMYK-hued light on the walls and ceiling. He explains:

I am fascinated by the bright shadows LED light can give... It is this particular property that has enabled me to show how the primary colors of light, red, green and blue, on the one hand, and the pigment colors, cyan, magenta and yellow, on the other, interact. The effect it produces may be called the aesthetics of LED light.


This isn't Parren's first experiment with LEDs. His thesis project at the Design Academy Eindhoven was a lamp that used a white cage to refract white light into CMYK shadows—a design that won him a slew of awards and launched his career as a designer. But at more than $1,000, the CMYK Lamp priced most fans out of the market. The CMYK Bulb is an attempt to commercialize his chromatic wizardry: when the bulb hits his online store, it'll cost about $120. [Dezeen]