A color-changing jellyfish that dangles from the ceiling and an alien helmet with a single glowing blue eye — all this and more was created on company time at Elemental LED, which is taking a Google-like approach to creativity at work by challenging its employees to develop unique applications for its LED lights.
Every month, each employee participating in the DIY Employee Contest at Elemental will be given a modest budget to be spent on any of the LED lights and accessories in the company’s catalog; at the end of each month, management will host a “show and tell,” (yes) in which each employee will get to wow his or her fellow co-workers with one wild creation. Those present will vote on favorites and winners will receive gift certificates to local restaurants and stores — as well as, of course, eternal fame in the break room.
In its first month, employee creations have run the gamut from artistic to utilitarian (a motorcycle helmet retrofitted with LED dome lights, for example). All employee creations will be featured on Elemental’s LEDucation page, where they’ll offer inspiration for the masses. (Elemental also plans to feature them on Instructables.com.)
Elemental Creative Engineer Dan Nelson said, in a statement, “Now that the use of LED lights has become more mainstream, we wanted to help bring attention to what you can accomplish with LEDs that you can’t with ordinary light fixtures and bulbs.” He goes on to note that these DIY Employee projects illustrate that energy efficient LED lights aren’t just a substitute for other lights, but “a whole new, exciting set of tools.”