When it comes to the different ways to operate a desk lamp, in my mind, the hierarchy goes something like this: Simplest and best is a nice, chunky on-off switch on the base; next comes the skinny spinning knob up near the bulb itself, and worst of all is the circular in-line switch, which usually ends up dangling just out of reach behind a dresser or tabletop. The Rima, however, might have the most ingenious solution yet. It’s a thin rail of a light on two sets of legs, outfitted with 56 LEDs and four metal rings, which you can slide into any position on the three-foot track and instantly illuminate all the LEDs in-between. Like magic!
The light, designed by Matthias Pinkert for the German company Dreipuls, is intended to give users just the right amount of shine for the task at hand. If you’re reading a book, you can slide the rings to the middle of the unit, focusing a nice spot of light over your text. Sliding the rings all the way to the sides lights up the whole row of LEDs—fitted on the track "like pearls on a string," the company explains—resulting in a broader, even glow.
Pinkert’s design is "intuitive, sensual and individual," in the words of a colleague at Dreipuls, and it’s certainly a stunning example of how sophisticated sensors can offer new ways to interact with lighting. But the designer’s high-tech lamp was inspired by a much simpler lighting interface: the curtain. "Matthias observed that when opening and drawing a curtain, he was able to change the light quantity in the room," a fellow team member explained. "He decided to apply the same concept to his first lamp."
Alas, ditching switches and knobs comes at a steep price: 1,840.00 euros, or, with current conversion rates, nearly $2,400. At least you can always grab ahold of your curtains and pretend.
[Hat tip: Defringe]