Pendant Lamp Runs on Living Bacteria


A new LED pendant lamp from Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen likely won’t appeal to germaphobes. That’s because instead of sourcing its power from electricity, sunlight, or salt water, the Spark of Life light runs on electrochemically active bacteria, Dezeen reports.

The stark lamp design consists of four compartments each containing microscopic organisms. An electrode inside the lamp harnesses the faint electrical charges emitted by the life-forms. These currents are then transmitted to LEDs in the light’s core where they provide the lamp with continuous power.

The Spark of Life lamp isn’t completely self-sustaining—the bacteria need to be fed with a teaspoon of acetate every two weeks or so. Van Dongen also recommends replenishing the lamp with fresh tap water, salt, and vitamins once every few months. Cleaning the apparatus doesn’t harm the bacteria, as they will remain safe and sound in the electrode until the lamp is reassembled.

Teresa van Dongen isn’t the first person to look to the Earth’s tiniest organisms as an innovative energy source. Bioluminescent bacteria have been incorporated into lights in the past, by the Paris-based company Glowee and by van Dongen herself. Her latest luminous project doesn’t have the signature blue alien glow of her octopus bacteria lamp, so it feels a bit more like something that could fit in with the decor of most living rooms. Just don't forget to feed its power source.

[h/t Dezeen]

Header/banner images courtesy of iStock.