Do you ever gaze at your desk lamp and think “it puts out fine light, sure, but what if I could charge my iPhone with it too?” No? Well maybe that’s why Philippe Starck, French rockstar of modern design, gets paid the big bucks. He not only conceives it, he accomplishes it in one of his latest contributions to the home appliance world: the FLOS D’E Light iPod charging lamp. Silver, shiny, and sleek, the D’E lamp has four main functions: to look good, to shed light on stuff, to charge your iPod/Phone/Pad, and to declutter your workspace or bedside table by combining all this into a single, stylish conversation piece. Let’s discuss.
The boxing of the D’E-Light is not really “green.” At best it might be a neglected, yellowing lawn kinda green. The lamp comes suspended in an interlocking erector set of foam blocks, cardboard cutouts, and plastic bags. If you ever hope to get it back into its box again you should take careful note of how all these shapes fit together, since you’ll have a hard time making sense of this trash jumble otherwise.
But when we excavated the lamp from its packaging we found it has a pleasant heft, like a polished post-modern update to the candlestick. Its stoutness and stable base will keep it from getting knocked over even when you grope for the light’s switch in the middle of the night. An AC wall adapter handles power, and plug adapters for European outlets are included..
The D’E-Light stands about a foot high, and looks like a little metal lectern or music stand that’s been cut in half from top to bottom. The height isn’t adjustable, so this is definitely a desktop or bedside light source only, and its design puts your iPod or iPhone or iPad on top of the lamp to charge. Yes, that’s right. We said on top of the lamp. Phillipe Starck has designed this device to serve not only as a classy little lamp, but as an elegant viewing and docking station for your portable Apple gizmos, too. A standard Apple charging plug base and a metal wing sprouting from the top of the of lamp hold your iPad or iPhone in place while they get juice.
Though it sounds strange, these portables actually look pretty cool perched on this thing, hovering above the warm glow that spills from the D’E-Light’s yellow-LED strip. The lamp uses LEDs instead of standard CFL or incandescant bulbs, so it runs nice and cool. The manufacturer claims it operates at “full power with 98% efficiency,” meaning 98% of the electricity going into the lamp is turned to light. Lamps using incandescent or even CFL bulbs rather than LEDS tend to lose a fair amount of energy in the form of heat. You can use even less power by brushing your finger across the touch sensitive glowing orange switch at the corner of the lamp, which will dim the light by half. Another touch and it switches off.