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A Clever Lantern Whose Light Changes When It’s Standing Or Hanging

A good example of friendly, smart interaction design.

I’ve heard lamps called ugly, but no one’s ever said that about a tulip. Tulips never clash with a couch or make a room look dated. Maybe lamps could learn a few things from tulips.

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The Tulip Lantern ($150), by Snow Peak, has figured this out already. It’s an LED-based light, switching modes between lamp and lantern–depending on your particular qualifications* of luminary device nomenclature–for indoor-outdoor use.

A flexible neck sprouts from the base, and the bulb is surrounded by a series of mirrors on hinges. So then the bulb is upright, the mirrors fall open, creating a wide field of ambient light. When the bulb is upside down, the “petals” collapse, thus turning it into a spotlight.

The result is a one-size-fits-all light that can snake around your shoulder to read a book, or dangle from a tent roof to give the feeling of hearth and home. Just make sure to pack spare batteries. This tulip isn’t fitted with a rechargeable core, and it promises to last anywhere from 8-300 hours (a tough range to gauge!), depending on how bright you like your light.

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* To clarify, a lantern is typically defined as a light enclosed in glass or plastic. But that tulip bloom resembles a sconce more than any enclosure. Of course, if it is a sconce, then maybe the proper term for the Tulip “lantern” is really a “light fixture.”

Buy it here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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