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As Sand Through The Hourglass, So Are The Seconds Of Our Lights

Designers Jia Wen Chen and Wei-Ting Chen have created the Flat Light, a lightswitch/timer combo that helps you to save energy and gives you a visual cue as to when the lights will go dark.

Light pollution is becoming a serious problem.

We hear you snickering back there - "light!" you scoff, "is there anything more awesome? You can't pollute with it!".

Turns out that 1) you can and that 2) you should stop scoffing. Really. It's bad for the sacroiliac.

Not only do cities light up the night sky with their thousands upon thousands of shining streetlights, traffic lights and giant television advertising screens, but the individual homeowner will often keep on far more lights than are necessary.

Sure, we understand that if you have a Zombie Graveyard in the basement and they shy away from the bone-white light of those twisted eco-bulbs, you're going to have to keep the lights on all the time. But Zombie Graveyard levels are down significantly in the last ten years, meaning that a lot of people keep their lights on for no good reason.

It is into this lack of reason that Jia Wen Chen and Wei-Ting Chen step boldy, and carry a big switch.

Their "Flat Lite", a simple LED switch that replaces current light switches, is designer to help homeowners reduce everyday light usage. The switch, a 2010 Liteon Award winner, looks like an hourglass with the bottom filled up by green LEDs. The "switch" itself is a diagonal plastic bar that runs along one axis of the hourglass. When the switch is twisted, the bottom of the hourglass becomes the top and lights turn on.

It's on: BUT NOT FOR LONG!It's on: BUT NOT FOR LONG! 

But only briefly.

Immediately, "grains" of green LED begin falling from the top to the bottom part of the switch, and after 30 seconds the light turned on by the switch shuts off. The LEDs themselves are not active until it is nighttime in the house, or the switch has been flipped, helping to limit light use by the same device that is meant to conserve it.

Right now, there designer duo hasn't said anything about a master or multiple switch that will do more than one light at a time, and programmable timers might be nice, but this is still a slick, funky idea that visually communicates just how long the light will be on and hopefully give you enough time to get down the stairs with that open pot of hot coffee in your hand.

We really don't want the Flat Lite to make you flat line.

Source: Yanko Design 

Douglas Bonderud
Technology and Gadgets Blogger
InventorSpot.com