Shut Up and Take My Money is a weekly feature about coveting the coolest, if not the most practical, gadgets and designs on the web--the kind that make you throw caution to the wind and reach for your wallet before that pesky self-control can kick in.
As the daylight hours grow scarce, we must huddle away under the artificial illuminations of our dwellings. But there's no reason to endure the night without style. These unique lamps are sure to perk up any room and pique the "Where did you get that?" jealousy of visitors.
1. Nourishment Lamp
This light piece unites Seattle's hip and eco-friendly ethos in one glowing, organic form. Designer Carolyn Joan Lau created the lamp out of empty Yakult yogurt bottles and plastic ties, turning household waste into beauty. The project won the Reader's Choice prize in the Bright Ideas Lighting Design competition, so it's not technically for sale, but charming readers might be able to commission Lau for a repeat.
2. Lumen Flame
For the world's most stunning night light, look no further than Adam Frank's shadow projectors. The oil lamps are outfitted with stainless steel cut-outs of trees, birds and blossoms. Once lit, the flames cast the beautiful naturalistic silhouettes on the walls in front of them. Lumen Flames cost $48 and come with two 17-hour fuel cells, so use the light installation judiciously. Or stock up on $6 liquid wax packs and sit entranced by shifting shadows for days at a time.
3. Gun Lamps
If your design aesthetic is less romantic and more "thug life," there are a surprising number of weapon-themed lighting options available. Loaded Objects offers its street-smart customers lamps mounted on ceramic castings of guns. Prices range from the $175 9mm sconce to the $525 AK-47 standing lamp.
But that's not all. There are even light fixtures available that have adapted the functionality of a gun, rather than just its form. The BANG! Lamp from bitplay is turned on and off by a pistol-shaped remote. When the trigger is pulled, a gunshot will sound and the lit lamp will turn off, tilting it's lampshade backward in true death. The assassinated home furnishing can be purchased from Dynamism for $299.
4. Dripping Lamps
For a feel that's more whimsy than weaponry, look to Liquid Lamp designer Kouichi Okamoto. Available in stark white and red, these lights look like upturned buckets of paint and the spills of color double as the fixtures' stands and wall mounts. Prices start at $239.
The dripping concept has also been used for more than quirky interior design. The Light Drop by Rafael Morgan compels the audience to think of conservation when they use their modern day conveniences. Beyond a rebuke of overbroad consumption, the installation is visually and functionally stunning. Mock faucets give life to LED-illuminated droplets and twisting the tap will dim their light. The project is only a prototype at the moment, but Morgan is looking to partner with a manufacturer. So keep your eyes peeled and your energy usage tame.
5. Nuke Lamp
Finally, for those with a taste for the extravagantly morbid comes the $1,439 Nuke Lamp. The dynamic lampshade perfectly replicates the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. The designers created a digital image composite of past detonations and then 3D printed it into existence. A light bulb inside the cloud and a metal base complete the contraption. Although overpriced, the Nuke Lamp makes for a dramatic art piece that's sure to spark conversation.