Design, Build and Installations
Designer and builder
Case Study Construction facebook page

Crane Lamp
Studio quality diffused domestic lighting

Crane Lamps, 2014. No retouching. Illuminated by other Crane Lamps with flash heads

Si-Huis Crane Lamps, photographed solely by the light of other Si-Huis Crane Lamps. Made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, polyester film, and steel. Designed for the Philips Hue bulb, with unlimited color combinations, controllable by iPhone, iPod or iPad. Lamp design and build by Michael Simon Toon, co-produced with Burton Landhuis and Vera Van Pelt. The same lamp can be used as an illuminated full color exhibition display up to 36" x 36".

Crane Lamps, 2014. No retouching. Illuminated only by itself

We’ve used a combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass to achieve the perfect combination of strength and flexibility. We experimented with high-tech plastics, metals and even wood. No other materials performed as well under load, using the same dimensions. Carbon fiber and fiberglass return perfectly to their original shape after flexing, even though the stand and boom bear their load while not being much thicker than the lamp's cable. The boom, at its fulcrum, is free-moving so that the lamp is always perfectly balanced. If the lamp is disturbed, then the boom stays balanced while the stand can bend and shift, just like a tightrope walker with a balancing pole; the balancing pole remains steady.

Crane Lamps, 2014. No retouching. Illuminated only by itself (dimmed)

Hit it, kick it, push it. The flexibility in the rods allows it to bend like a reed in the wind. The counterweight should be just above the ground (on the lamps with long booms), which is where they are safest and most secure, due to the low center of gravity. As well as counter balancing the lamp, the counterweight acts as an ‘inertia-air-anchor’ if the lamp receives a physical blow. The lamps dance in response to impact (mainly the ‘twist’ or sometimes the ‘grandpa shuffle’); they may even jump, then they eventually return to their original position. If the stand was rigid, the lamp is so light that it could be pushed over gently with one finger. Instead, it acts more as if it’s made of jelly, or as if it’s being tickled. For lamps that are to be installed in windy or high traffic areas, sandbags are provided which can be easily placed over the stabilizers (three rods at the base) making even the 7.5' Crane Lamp essentially impossible to knock over, accidentally; it can only be brought to the ground by pulling it with considerable effort. The power cable fits onto the boom and stand with tight-fitting clips, to allow the cable to be pulled taut, reducing the profile of the cable.