Almost Genius: Rima Light Is Part Desk Lamp, Part Abacus

An award-winning lamp uses adjustable circular sliders to control the amount and direction of illumination.

Almost Genius: Rima Light Is Part Desk Lamp, Part Abacus

Designers, like Brick Tamland in Anchorman, love lamp. Every awards competition seems to attract desk lighting concepts that could make the lowliest information-worker feel like she took over Steve Jobs’s office.

The latest anointee, fresh from the 2010 Red Dot Design Awards, is the Rima Light from Dreipuls.

The Rima’s control mechanism is rather ingenious — instead of tediously bending a long-necked desk lamp into the perfect position, you just slide rings up and down the length of a fixed tube, like beads on a necklace. Computer-controlled LEDs let you change the color of the light, shrink it down to a near-point, or broaden it into a soft glow bathing your whole desk. Or the floor, if you’re being really minimalist:

Beauty aside, these kinds of asymmetrically canted, long-bar lamps strike me as impractical for real office use. They need two bases on the desk instead of one or none. True, those stalklike limbs have a minimal footprint, but they look fragile and difficult to position on a normal cluttered work surface. And they’re low enough to make me feel claustrophobic just looking at them. The Rima touts its ability to pivot the lamp bar on its long axis, but it’s already set so close to eye level (unless you like working on the floor) that it looks like it’d just be shining in your eyes.

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.



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