Unusual and unique is what I love to find at any venue and the Maison & Objet Americas did not disappoint (check out my other posts covering the M&O show with Alicia Kossick and Leo Capote). While strolling the show, my attention was grabbed by what seemly looked to be floating luminous books. I had to know more about how, where, why and who, which brought me to the designer, Max Gunawan.
If you have a habit of judging books by their cover, you may be surprised when you open this 8.5″ by 7″ book, bound by FSC certified wood, only to find accordion-like pages illuminating your view. Gunawan’s company was launched after a very successful Kickstarter campaign that helped him raise around $580k. This was followed by two successful years of growth for the small company out of San Fransisco. If that wasn’t evident enough that his design was a hit, during his presentation on the popular TV show Shark Tank, all 5 hosts began a bidding war in hopes of partnering with his company. But what is it about his design that many (myself included) are digging?
The Lumio light emits 500 lumens at the perfect color rendering temperature of 2700 Kelvin. Gunawan has designed the LED nodes on the spine of the book to direct the light at the perfect angle so there are no hot spots or shadows; this really impresses the lighting design geeks here at DigThisDesign. Lumio is also portable since it holds approximately 8 hours on its mini-USB rechargeable battery. The “pages” that serve as the light diffuser are made of durable Tyvek, a waterproofing material for construction; so you can use the Lumio inside or out*. (Although the Tyvek is waterproof, this does not make the entire Lumio light waterproof, only water resistant)
“I’m inspired by the idea that one object can serve multiple functions.” says Lumio designer Max Gunawan.
Lumio was designed with simplicity and versatility in mind. Here are some of the ways you can use Lumio.
A vanity light on the go
How many times have you stayed at a hotel with sub-par bathroom lighting? Since portability is part of its design, the Lumio can easily be taken along while traveling. You can open its pages and stand it up on its binding to nicely illuminate your face while applying makeup or shaving with zero light hot spots or shadows. Thank goodness for avoiding that Edgar Allen Poe look that comes with bad down lighting.
A Photography light
With pages that are meant to perfectly diffuse light and a kelvin temperature ideal for rendering colors properly, the Lumio is begging to be part of your selfie. For more serious photographers, the Lumio can help with nicely lighting up your subject. On the other hand, it is a beautiful object all on its own, deserving to be an interesting prop in your composition that adds mystery or drama. When I met with Gunawan at the Maison & Objet show in Miami, he mentioned a photographer’s creative use for the Lumio, here is his shot below.
A decorative pendant or table lamp
The Lumio features magnets under its wood binding that hold the flaps together in an open position, creating a lantern look with its pages. This enables the user to suspend it from the ceiling using its leather straps for a one of a kind pendant. It can also be stood up on end for a table lamp. If the light is used for long periods of time, be sure to connect it to a power source via the mini-USB port. Below is an example from the Maison & Objet Americas show of the many ways you can suspend the Lumio.
Outdoor party decor
I can see myself using the Lumio around a campfire, it’s the perfect prop for telling scary stories with or just adding extra light at your next patio party.
Do you own the Lumio? What are some fun or unexpected ways you use your Lumio light? We’d love to hear about it, leave us a comment in the box below.