A Lamp that Requires a Sacrifice

-Laura Lundberg

There are some very interesting gadgets and gizmos out there that are meant to help keep the world sustainable and reduce the amount of energy humans consume. One of the most interesting new gadgets on the market is something that is 100% sustainable, emits cool colors, and requires just a bit of a sacrifice that really gets people thinking twice about how much energy they use. What’s this item? It’s called the Blood Lamp.

Invented by Mike Thomspon, an English designer based in the Netherlands, Thomspon wanted to make people stop and think  before simply wasting energy. He came up with the idea of this somewhat disturbing green gadget when he was studying for his masters at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. He was researching chemical energy for a project when he discovered the Blood Lamp’s chemical component – luminol.

Luminol is a chemical that forensic scientists use to find traces of blood at crime scenes. Luminol works by reacting with red blood cells, turning the red blood cells a bright, neon blue that glows. While the chemical used to make the lamp work seem simple enough, it’ll be more work to actually get yourself to light it. The lamp works by someone mixing in an activating powder into the glass. Then, all you do is break the top of the glass, cut yourself and a few drops of blood into the glass. Sounds simple enough, but is also extremely daunting and will make you think twice before using this type of lamp.

Thinking twice is exactly what Thompson wanted too. He said in an article for LiveScience that, “It kind of triggered this thought in my mind, that if energy somehow came at a cost to us, then maybe it would make us think differently about the way we use it,” and that the lamp “forces the user to‘rethink how wasteful they are with energy, and how precious it is.” He explained. If you want to see a video of the Blood Lamp in action, you can check it out on YouTube, although we warn you, there is blood.

While the Blood Lamp is a cool idea, and a great way to get people to start really thinking about how much energy they use, one has to think that there is an easier and just as green way to get light – and light that isn’t a weird neon blue color either. Still, I guess if worst comes to worst (perhaps in a post-apocalyptic world) one might be all too willing to cut their fingers to get a little light.

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