Lumino Cube: The first modular, portable interior lighting solution – Sketchbook Friday

In this edition of Sketchbook Friday I thought it’s about time we re-imagined interior lighting. It’s safe to say we have become accustomed to the standard suspended incandescent bulb illuminating the room from above, so how about a portable light fixture? The goal for this project is to design a portable light solution utilising modular principles. Let’s begin by taking a look at the concept sketches.

Customizable material variations

To begin the prototyping process I started off by brainstorming some ideas for materials and finishes as shown in (A) and (B). Some potential materials include variations of wood (bamboo, ash, oak), plastic (recycled, translucent, rough) and even metal (mesh, steel, pearlescent).

Just playing around with materials can lead to an infinite number of variations. What kind of style would you opt for?

Minimal panel and frame construction

With materials out of the way it was then time to explore shapes and form. As our goal is a modular and portable system, a cube seemed appropriate as square forms are simplest to fit together. Note that in sketch (D) I designed an exoskeleton style frame, this enclosure could be put together using rods rods or even tubes if desired. To fill out the box shape panels may then be added as illustrated in (E). This combination of frame and plates would allow for some interesting combinations, for example a chrome frame and varnished wood panel exterior. In fact users may be provided the option to completely customise their selection to fit any home interior design style.

Universal portability and mobility

On to sketch (F) and we’re now moving onto ideas for portability. The Lumino cube design concept can easily be fixed to the ceiling, any wall or left on any given surface. There’s no reason the user couldn’t even carry the Lumino into another room taking the light with them. Maybe this is not the most practical idea, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless. To me there’s something interesting about manually transporting a light source, almost as if it’s a metaphor for staying switched on during the day. Or perhaps like an artist the user can instantly change the mood of a room by positioning the light to illuminate the surrounding area however they wish.

Another idea would be to position the Lumino between some books. Any surface is fair game with this portable light system.

Using LED’s to create atmospheric glow

As we move onto (G) and (H) I wanted to consider the type of lighting the Lumino cube might emit. Modern LED’s are easily intense enough to light up any given space, and the added benefit of providing potential for colour changes in RGB (red, green and blue) makes LED’s an excellent choice. Fluorescent, incandescent and even more traditional natural based lighting may also allow for some unique variations of light.

The Modular grid system

Another key element to the Lumino Cube prototype is it’s modular capability. I’m a big fan of modular design at the moment, I feel as though adding enhanced interaction between man and machine is a great way of shift our thinking of electronics as being cold lifeless devices.

In sketch (J) I illustrate a very simple grid system using the enclosures box shape. Perhaps the Lumino Cube may also vary in scale, thus making a larger number of cubes more viable in a smaller spaces.

This modular system provides plenty of opportunity for the user to transform a space with multiple colours, lighting effects and decorative stylisations. Think of each unit as an interchangeable volume, adapting to the user and even time of day. The effects may also be subtly modelled on the principle of daylight. Gradually over the course of the day sunlight transforms the room shifting shadows, ambience and colours. The Lumino Cube can easily simulate this effect during the nighttime hours, instead projecting artificial light.

Lumino Cube final thoughts

As much as our current setup for lighting rooms with a standalone light bulb, night light, wall light etc is more than suitable for everyday living, I feel it’s still worth exploring alternative creative options. What the Lumino Cube prototype offers is a personal connection with the look and feel of our surroundings. As an artist I have my favourite art tools, why not expand this idea and connect users to their home with light. If we want to think even further “outside of the box” one could even imagine Lumino Cubes with personalities! If for example you post an angry comment online, the cube might illuminate red to reflect your mood interpreting translating your keywords into colours and “moods”.

So what do you think of my Lumino Cube concept prototypes? This blog series is all about sharing thoughts and developing creative ideas into working prototypes so all support helps to determine which projects are worthy of developing further. Don’t forget to post in the comments with your thoughts and I hope to see you again for the next edition of Sketchbook Friday.

Project updates
#01 Early Mockup

Here’s a quick mockup of the Lumino Cube. I will update this visualization further in a future update as I need to fix the gaps and overlapping geometry as evident if you look closely at the panel connections.[/vc_column_text]


#02 Modular Shell Design

In this update I have started the process of visualising the Lumino Cube concept digitally. Note that the panels have been slightly redesigned with attachments that now clip to the exterior frame. This design would allow for a large variety of forms besides just a static cube shape.

This edition is part of my weekly blog series where I conduct thought experiments and generate new concept ideas ranging from innovative new tech to creative design kits. Ideas that receive the most shares will evolve form my original sketches to prototypes and potentially crowdfunding campaigns.