I want the free lunch!
July 16, 2007 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I want to go! The company is sponsiring "Yes, literally, bring an idea and we’ll buy lunch." However I have no idea to bring! Maybe some of you creative types could help me come up with one!

What type of lighting fixture is the world missing? Fixture can be either out door or in door! fluorescent or HID! or if someone had some really cool ideas for LEDs!

Just a general idea or suggest is all I need.
posted by Relly70 to Technology (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In the toilet and call it: Disco Bowl.
posted by paulinsanjuan at 11:50 AM on July 16, 2007

An led light specifically designed (with movement sensors) to scare coyotes from my patio to protect my pets.
posted by cda at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think that you should be able to fill a room with mist or smoke, and then use a light to project 3D images as if they were in the room with you. Imagine that you are at an aquarium and you go in a dark room and it is full of mist and then there are (images of) fish swimming all around you like you are in an aquarium. That would be awesome. You may not want to suggest that though, because they may just think that you are high.
posted by ND¢ at 12:02 PM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I light that reflects water movement, so you have shimmering walls of different colors. It would be a great nightlight. I get 50% of the profits.
posted by lain at 12:07 PM on July 16, 2007

You can get nightlights that detect when they need to be on. How about a lighting fixture that when turned on automatically brightens the room to a set level depending on how much ambient light there is already? Seems I'm forever playing with dimmer switches in my house.
posted by artifarce at 12:10 PM on July 16, 2007

How about a light that turns itself off in the presence of other lights (like a computer or TV screen)? It would be cool to have the overhead lights automatically turn off or dim when I turned on the computer or TV.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:10 PM on July 16, 2007

a motion sensor built into keyholes or doorknobs, so a tiny LED clicks on when you're trying to find the keyhole in the dark.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:12 PM on July 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

I would love a light like a miner's light that somehow could be attached to non-head parts of my body - imagine the light on a airplane passenger lifejacket, sort of right over the heart area. If it was blacked out on top or had some sort of shade thingy, you'd have a really portable, hands-free, non-book-cover-dependent reading/work light for times when you don't want to disturb others. You'd use a magnet or something to affix it to your clothes.
posted by mdonley at 12:14 PM on July 16, 2007

Light pads embedded in the palms of gloves and mittens... "natural light" flat screen computer monitors for sensitive eyes... light that indicates spoilage of food...
posted by JaySunSee at 12:14 PM on July 16, 2007

what about embedding wifi extenders/repeaters into fixtures?

success would depend on the right approach, tho...if it were a light that worked "like a computer" then it would fail. but if it were as simple as something you plugged into the wall, and it just worked (apple-style), and you would hardly know from looking at it that the fixture was a wifi bridge...now that would be nice.

i have some more ideas/designs in mind. happy to share if you'd like to prototype ;-)
posted by diastematic at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2007

A bright, possibly flashing, LED-lit house number that is triggered by loud sirens, so it stands out as emergency workers approach your house.
posted by mikepop at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I want a flexible bar of LEDs which I can press onto the edge of a glass table, or any pane of glass, really, which will not directly visible from most angles, but will have the effect of suffusing the table or pane of glass, entirely or in part, with light when the light level is very low in the room, or outside.
posted by jamjam at 12:18 PM on July 16, 2007

Response by poster: Oh I am so going to lunch! Thanks alot for the great ideas! The hive pulls through once again!
posted by Relly70 at 12:33 PM on July 16, 2007

Anything marketed specifically for CFL bulbs:

- internal size of the fixture (there are a number of small, globe-shaped fixtures in my apartment that CFL bulbs of the appropriate wattage don't quite fit into, because they were designed for traditional bulbs)

- shades/glass covers/etc. that help make CFL light look less fluorescent, more like the light from traditional bulbs

- much as I hate this useless marketing, adding "CFL-compatible!" language to your packaging of any existing products (as long as they actually are) might help since people are becoming more energy conscious.
posted by vytae at 12:34 PM on July 16, 2007

You know those shoes with the lights in the them from LA Gear and copied by everyone? Well, how about shoes with a layer of LED lights at the lower edge, so that every time a person takes a step, they get a glow from every side the show. Imagine how awesome playing tag at night or running down an inept criminal would be if you could watch their feet light up with every step. You could do it in a variety of colors too, like orange or green or light blue. Dude, so many applications but consider consumer ones first.

You could call the shoe "Imbroglio".
posted by parmanparman at 12:36 PM on July 16, 2007

christmas lights in the form of a large net. You attach it to the edge of the roof and let it unroll to the ground. If the lights are dense enough, you could run simple animations on it.

Think of this as the next step after those projectors that put snowflakes on the house.

Of course, the lights should me LEDs
posted by davereed at 12:36 PM on July 16, 2007

Get your company to make a Dawn simulator and easily take over the market with the price advantage.
posted by tmcw at 12:38 PM on July 16, 2007

I'd like an LED on my cell phone for stumbling around after the bar, the screen just isn't bright enough
posted by saukrates at 12:49 PM on July 16, 2007

Under-the-rim LED lights for toilet bowls. I'd like to be able to see where things are without blinding myself at 3AM.
posted by jquinby at 12:55 PM on July 16, 2007

Fiber optic light fixtures (using fluorescent or LED as source): if the fibers are spaced a bit, and installed so they're flush with the wall or ceiling surface, then when they're off, they look just like the rest of the wall/ceiling. This could be done with automotive turn signals & brake lights as well. The "hook" is that there is no visible light fixture when it is off; there is no "seam" or other indicator; just an uninterrupted surface that magically emits light.
posted by yesster at 12:56 PM on July 16, 2007

Lights that automatically turn on/off depending on if you're in the room or not. You could be carrying some sort of device in your pocket and when you enter a room, a sensor in the doorway tells the light to turn on, and if you leave the room to another one, the sensor tells the light to turn off and the light in the other room to turn on.
posted by nakedsushi at 1:04 PM on July 16, 2007

Blue LEDs are being used by dermatologists to treat acne because they kill or inhibit the growth of certain bacteria.

How about incorporating those same kinds of blue LEDs into electric toothbrushes like Sonicare (TM) in order to help control bacteria in the mouth?

I see the lights being in the handle, with the light conducted into the mouth by a clear brush head and maybe even down to where the action is by fiber optic bristles, perhaps most effective either before or after the toothpaste, unless it was a low-foaming clear gel.
posted by jamjam at 1:06 PM on July 16, 2007

A circle of leds inside of a pot for houseplants. uplighting for decorative plants.
posted by hortense at 1:11 PM on July 16, 2007

A combination motion sensor / timer that allows the lights that may have been accidentally left on to dim if there is no motion around them for 30 mins, for example, and then come back to where they were set when there is, with a timer that actually shuts them off after X pm.

Blue LED lights under kitchen counters, for the bacteria-killing properties that jamjam notes.

Blacklight LEDs. On beltbuckles. Or anywhere, really. Blacklight flashlights. Blacklight glowsticks?
posted by luriete at 1:20 PM on July 16, 2007

Lights in the huge, deep cabinet where everyone's pots and pans always end up, as well as under sinks. I can't see anything down there!
posted by mdonley at 1:23 PM on July 16, 2007

plug-compatible GU10 LED fixtures. I want a GU10 bulb that uses LEDs at 120V. I want several. GIve them to me now.
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on July 16, 2007

LEDs with a regular, incandescent-type frosted housing, so you can have the shape of the bulb, but the lasting power and low energy usage of an LED. This is actually something that in designing a large, modern, arty light fixture for my foyer, is requiring us to drill into incandescent bulbs to take out the guts, and replace them with LEDs as I want a number of exposed incandescent bulbs, but using less power.
posted by mckenney at 1:58 PM on July 16, 2007

LED taper-style candles to put at your windows at Christmas time.
posted by wryly at 1:59 PM on July 16, 2007

Uh, yeah, like those. Huh. Except I want 120V, not 240V, but close.

But whether it's new or not, it's a huge market opportunity. The ones I have seen are more like $50. Sell me one for $10 and you're in.
posted by GuyZero at 1:59 PM on July 16, 2007

- bathroom vanities! usually you need bright light. there's power savings if you do it with LEDs. plus you could easily include a dimmer switch for mood lighting. and if you want to get really creative, multiple colours, for when you're having a relaxing bath... maybe even pre-programmed colour fade sequences.

- LEDs that clip to glasses frames, or rest on your ear if you don't wear glasses, so you can read while it's dark and keep your hands free.

- Clothing with built-in lighting when you need to be highly visible. like reflective vests, with extra lights sewn into the fabric.

- Cheap raver-style LED glowsticks!
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:09 PM on July 16, 2007

My apologies if these exist but I scoured my Menards and Home Depot for rheostat-compatible CFLs and small (40w) CFLs.

In addition to shades for CFLs (suggested by vytae upthread), shades for LEDs to offset the pointelated look.

I've seen little varied bracelets that go around the stem of wineglasses so party guests can distinguish their glass. What about embedding a LED into the base of wine/liquor glasses for this purpose, with different colors serving as differentiators?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:18 PM on July 16, 2007

I love jamjam's idea.

Here are mine:

Inexpensive, tiny, possibly solar or rechargeable battery-powered lights which you can use to line the edges of an outdoor path. There are clunky ones on the market that tend to fall over, get water in them, etc. - but what I envision aren't necessarily that bright, just enough to see where the path edges are.

Also: Inexpensive wall sconces that are actually attractive. A better idea: a wall sconce that is small, minimal, and metal, but designed to be enclosed by / covered by something created by a designer or an artisan (fair trade, anyone), so that it becomes easy for homeowners and interior decorators to customize a home's interior lighting to match the rest of the decor.
posted by amtho at 2:25 PM on July 16, 2007

I think you need to craft a helmet with a light bulb on top. When they ask what your idea is, you can light up the bulb. I think they'll get "the idea" (on so many levels).
posted by dujoducom at 2:59 PM on July 16, 2007

THIS! or otherwise a sensor light in the rim of your glass that lights up one color if the drink has alcohol in it and another color if it doesn't.
posted by bink at 3:47 PM on July 16, 2007

Full-spectrum CFL bulbs! Low-cost lighting for people with seasonal affectedness disorder. I would pay $15 for each full-spectrum CFL bulb, and I'd put them in every socket in my home.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 4:38 PM on July 16, 2007

A shoulder-mounted lamp for campers. Head-mounted lamps blind people when I look at them.
posted by SPrintF at 6:10 PM on July 16, 2007

Full-spectrum CFL bulbs!

Done. I have one. Linked bulb is $9. Have a nice day.

I'd vote for LED automobile dome lights. These exist in some cases as aftermarket kits, but I haven't yet seen them in new autos. My car's light bulb, for example, can get hot enough to start to melt the dome light cover when left on too long. Not to mention the battery drain.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 11:08 PM on July 18, 2007

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