For me it was a campsite near Lake Solitude, in Teton National Park. The sun was setting, so the world was rendered in a nostalgia-tinted gold. We’d returned to our camp to find a few deer with full racks passing through, unperturbed by our presence.
If I could take the light from that moment and put it in my bedroom? I think I’d fall asleep happy every night.
And indeed, this is the promise of the Sun Memories lamp by the Italian agency Olive Creative Lab, featured recently on Inhabitant. Debuting at the London Design Festival, the lamp itself is a lot like any premium LED lamp, capable of changing its color temperature from warm to cool.
But what makes Sun Memories different is the way it allows you to pick those colors. You carry what the designers describe as a "wearable" device with you, though it looks more like a puck, and you'll probably just want to set on the ground. Then, for up to six hours, it will record everything—the "color, intensity, and fickleness from the moments of shadow to the vibrancy of a sunny day"—for you to bring home and reproduce inside. It appears you can even save several of these days as a lighting playlist.
Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine this working perfectly. Even if the lamp could reproduce the general ambience of outdoors (a stretch for any type of artificial lighting, to say the least), it might not scale to our expectations of interior light. When the sun falls behind the clouds for a moment outside, or becomes suddenly bright, we’re used to these sensation. Inside, it might mean we’d need to avert our eyes from the overly bright lamp, or put that New Yorker article down because it’s suddenly dark and we find ourselves squinting.
But even so, Olive Creative Lab has built an enticing user experience here. We all have memories we want to save forever—and many of them happen to be lit quite splendidly.
We've written the agency to see if and when we can expect the lamp to go on sale, and will update this post if it responds.