A Techy Invention Makes For An Illuminating Read


Architect and designer Max Gunawan is full of bright ideas. What started as an ambitious goal of making a compact, modular home that could fold up and fit into a car, veered into Lumio, an accordion-style lamp that looks good enough to read.

Designed to look like a hardcover book, the nerdtastic lamp turns on when opened and off when closed. It can open to book length or bend all the way back to emit 360 degrees of radiant light. Though the interactive lamp is quite unexpected in an awe-inspiring how-did-they-do-that kind of way, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the San Francisco-based company had sustainability on the mind and used eco-friendly materials, including a wood “cover” available in three finishes – dark walnut, warm cherry, and blonde maple – and 100% recyclable, water resistant Tyvek “pages” made with LED lights.

Photo courtesy of Lumio.com

Slap it onto a metal surface (a heavy-duty magnet is built into the cover) and use it as a continuous light source (keep it plugged in via a USB charger for continuous light), or carry the portable one-pound lamp in your tote bag. When fully charged, you’ll have eight hours of light.

To be honest, I really just want to carry it on the bus and see the look on my seatmate’s face when it opens in an epiphany-like moment (cue that Greek chorus) to reveal everything that is magical about technology, creating, and – naturally – reading. Available at Lumio.com; $160.

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