Humanscale took home a rack of awards last week at NeoCon, the signature trade show for office furniture, for a range of interesting products, including an air purifier and a new task chair from ergonomics guru Niels Diffrient. But their biggest winner was the Element LED lamp, which won the gold medal in product innovation. And what makes it so special: It's purported to be the first LED task light ever to break the ergonomic barrier for brightness, as laid out by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the Department of Energy.
That's very bright indeed: Using just 7 watts of power, the Element puts out as much light as a 70-watt incandescent bulb. It's unlikely to ever need any bulb replacement either, since the light is rated for 60,000 hours of use—or about 30 years of working 9-to-5. In addition, the light's made of 80% recycled content, is 99% recyclable, and ships in 70% recycled packaging. It's slated to earn an Energy Star label as well.
Design-wise, the odd-looking fins help the Element distinguish itself from a number of other LED task lights, such as Koncept's Z-Bar and Herman Miller's Leaf. Those designs all place the LED's in a line, to prevent heat build-up—but that creates the tell-tale signature of LED's: A series of rounded shadows, as a result of the light from each individual bulb not overlapping. Humanscale solved that problem with one single LED that uses those metal fins you see to shed the resulting heat:
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