Light As A Medium - Colored Lighting - Aqua Lamp


The turquoise color I was assigned for this project reminded me immediately of the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. I have always had interest in trying to somehow capture the play of light through that water, and so I decided to attempt that with this piece.


My other main influence for this project was the Dandelion Lamp by Studio Drift. I love the aesthetic of the natural fused with the electronic and am fascinated by the elegance of the light despite its incredible simplicity.

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Ultimately what I borrowed from this design was the exposed 9V battery and overall simplicity, but I created my own form to combine with the watery lighting effect. Having done some experimenting I knew that white light through turquoise-colored water resulted in a very evocative pattern, but what I wanted was to quite literally bottle that effect.


In order to make the electronics play nice with the water, I made a small, contained capsule in which the LED’s and battery would live. I then found a perfect glass bottle into which I could fit that capsule in the top like a stopper, allowing the LEDs inside to be suspended but protected inside the liquid.


I realized partway into the design process that I would really want some sort of power switch so that the LEDs were not constantly on as soon as I connected all the pieces. Considering the scale at which I was working and the design simplicity for which I was aiming, I felt that some sort of chunky, exposed switch would not be feasible. Instead what I devised was a switch hidden under the 9V battery itself. By mounting the switch button directly below the slightly flexible battery clip, simply pressing down on the battery itself activates the switch and turns on the lights.

inside of the capsule lid.

inside of the capsule lid.

As a prototype I am very satisfied with this design. However if I were to iterate on it again I would be interested in experimenting with ways to get the water moving to create more of a ripple pattern from the light. I would also love to polish the design a bit more so I could rely less on (the none-the-less incredibly reliable) hot glue.