• 04.02.13

A Dead Simple Lantern With A Clever Multi-Purpose Design

Spot is basically just two parts: a light and a handle. But what a useful handle it is.

My RSS reader cuts a wide path through the design wilds of the web, so rarely is there a day where I don’t see some sort of new lighting concept. Some are meant to be hung, others are meant to sit on a desk, a few are designed to be carried by hand. This one is a bit different, in that it can do all three.


Spot, as it’s called, has an ultra-simple design based entirely around two parts: a 10 watt LED and a simple, squared off handle. But it’s one hell of a handle. You can hold onto its shorter side, with the light facing upwards, to tote Spot like a lantern. Or you can grab its longer side and wield it like a flashlight. Or you can use the handle to stand Spot up on a desk, angling the face to throw light wherever you need it. Or you could just hang the whole thing from a nail on the wall. But what’s great is that it’s not really an “or” proposition. You can use it in any of these ways, whenever you want.

The project, designed by students in the ID program at Singapore’s National University, drew inspiration from the lights found at construction sites. “They are handy, powerful, and most of all unassuming in terms of aesthetics,” the group explained. “Our vision for the design was something economic and simple, yet able to be super versatile.” The swivel action was borrowed from another member of the family: the spot light.

In a way, the thinking behind Spot is similar to what we’re seeing with Bluetooth speakers, which sacrifice some audio quality for supreme portability. Where you were once anchored to your stereo, those new wireless speakers essentially set music free, letting you bring it wherever you might need at that moment. Spot’s much the same but for light. It certainly won’t be as good as a dedicated drafting lamp or a traditional flashlight or a real lantern (do people still use lanterns?), but it will certainly be more flexible than any single one of them.

The prototype runs on six AAA batteries, though the team is hoping to explore a rechargeable solution with the final version, for which they’re currently seeking funds with an Indiegogo campaign. Which brings up the other reason you might not want to give up your trusty desk lamp for an itinerant little light like this. When you’re tethered to the wall, you never run out of juice.

Head to the campaign page to read more or to contribute.