Portable. Rechargeable. Powerful. Lumio unfolds, seemingly by magic, from a book. Simply open the cover to turn on the warm, high-performing LED lamp. According to the www.hellolumio.xom website, Lumio can be transformed into multiple shapes – big enough to light a dinner party, compact enough to fit in a small bag. With its modern, minimalist design, and 500 lumen of high-output lighting (equivalent to a 40-watt bulb), Lumio is striking and discreet.
Ms. M. Lilienthal, of Digital Trends, writes that this unique lamp which is collapsible, portable, and USB-rechargeable is a modern lighting fixture designed for the tech age. Designed by Max Gunawan, a former San Francisco architect, the lamp emerged out of Gunawan’s quest to design a modular, collapsible home. After an extremely successful Kickstarter program (a website dedicated to raising “crowdfunding” for new ideas), Lumio was recently released to the public.
Lumio starts out as a closed “book,” and like a book, when opened, Lumio enchants you and tells a story. The Lumio comes in a beautiful, well-executed “cover” of engraved wood and orange-accented cardboard. There’s a small Lumio-branded compartment with an orange USB cord, and another orange-accented cardboard box containing a brown leather strap and wood dowel for hanging. Lilienthal says “I took it out, plugged it into my computer (a wall charger is not included), and opened the book. It emits a bright, beautiful, and beckoning glow; a luminosity that begs to be used every night. I must admit, I was captivated.”
How did Gunawan get started with this lamp? He was inspired after reading “The Lean Startup” and turned to www.kickstarter.com to raise the needed funds to develop his idea. “It dawned on me one day that a book would be a great way to package this idea of a collapsible light fixture,” says Gunawan. “It’s compact, has that visceral connection with the idea of a ‘book that illuminates’ and has that unexpected element of surprise.” (wired.com). With a goal of raising $60,000 to develop and begin manufacturing, the goal was reached and exceeded, eventually raising close to $600,000.
In her review of the lamp, Lilienthal says “Lumio states the lamp has eight hours of life on a single charge. I didn’t see more than six hours before it turned off. It also doesn’t recharge while on and plugged into a computer’s USB port. I tested this by charging it for eight hours while lit, unplugged it, and it died about 10 minutes afterward. It’s a bit disappointing that you have to charge it while off for several hours before it could go portable. But just like any mobile device, Lumio can be permanently plugged in for 24-7 happiness.
“This lamp is made with environmentally friendly materials, including Forest Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) wood, and is available in walnut, maple, and cherry finishes. The lamp’s shade is water-resistant, so it’s at home either indoors or out. Plus, it’s 100-percent recyclable. With its petite size and powerful light output, this will surely find its way in your bag for outings of all sorts. On the go, it will shine beautifully along the way no matter where you put it. Although the battery life might be a bit shorter than claimed and the unit is a bit fragile, Lumio will be the light of your life when you get it. It is just that cool. And at $160, it won’t break the bank, either.”
The Lumio is certainly capturing people’s imagination. The lamp has been nominated for the 2014 People’s Design Award, sponsored by the Smithsonian Design Museum. It is also a 2015 nominee for the Edison Awards, which recognizes outstanding innovations.
Haven’t seen one of them in a store? It’s no wonder. Lumio sells them