Powered by Wat(er): Manon LeBlanc’s Very Green Ambient Lamp

I’m bending my brain trying to come up with a precedent for Wat—designer Manon Leblanc’s water assisted desk/floor lamp—but I find I’ve not quite seen its ilk before. There was the electroluminescent tea cup effect of Wonsik Chae’s Lighting Bag, as well as the symbiotic life-sustaining loop of Studio Gorm’s Flow2 Kitchen, but these don’t quite create the spark of life in the same way as Wat. A “self-sufficient ambient lamp,” Wat might be construed as a contemporary take on the classic lantern. It’s portable, just like those traveling points of light of yore, but its functionality doesn’t depend on flame and candle wax but rather on the ingenious and synergistic innovations of a hydro-electric battery—for laymen, that’s a simple carbon stick and a mere pinch of magnesium powder.

Wat. Designed by Manon LeBlanc.

A Simple Reaction Creates a Brilliant Illumination

The combination may make you wonder if you’ve traveled back to your high school Chemistry class, wherein you once may have tested the electrical conductivity of a solution by powering up a bulb with it. Thankfully, with Leblanc’s clever water-powered lamp, you’re neither required to comprehend the play of electrons nor represent them graphically with one of those enigmatic Lewis Dot structures. All that is required, rather, is to pour a bit of the precious elixir into the lamp’s business end—essentially a funnel-shaped cap with a protruding switch. The water interacts with the magnesium coated carbon stick (hydroelectric battery), which, in turn, responds by illuminating Wat’s bank of interior LEDs.

Powered by Wat(er): Manon LeBlanc's Very Green Ambient Lamp
Powered by Wat(er): Manon LeBlanc's Very Green Ambient Lamp
Powered by Wat(er): Manon LeBlanc's Very Green Ambient Lamp

The result is an upside-down oriented prism of light that needs neither electrical cord, nor thimbleful of gas, nor compressed paraffin stick to do its work. Thus, Wat is an autonomous light source that banks on its pronounced ecological appeal. And what could be more appealing (or symbolic) than the simple act of “watering your light?” The timeless draw of this gesture—along with the energy savings—will have us tipping the water can in the direction of Wat for generations to come.

Via Yanko.

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