The M Lamp is a modern day miner's lamp — an essential tool for life and work. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on October 18, 2012.
About this project
Introducing the Wireless M Lamp!
News & Accolades
Fast company "The M Lamp is a handsome wireless lantern powered by a rechargeable lithium battery."
** New Kickstarter Reward **
Get a WIRED version of the M Lamp only on Kickstarter. The same iconic design and ultra high quality finish but without the battery.
(Wired M Lamp will come with a max 40W mini replaceable incandescent bulb and a dimmer on the power cord).
Design Milk just posted an article on David Irwin and the M Lamp "Everywhere I turned – there he was [David Irwin], and with good reason. His products are gorgeous!..."
unifiedspace says "In my mind, the best product from the entire [London design] festival [...] I am certainly coveting one for a bedside lamp – it also dims – but I can visualise it in countless positions around my house."
The Awesomer "M Lamp is as useful as it is beautiful."
M Lamp featured on NOTCOT
M Lamp made We Are Conran's top picks for the London Design Festival, saying "I made it to 100% Design, and was impressed by Juniper’s M Lamp, designed by David Irwin [...] but without supporters the lamp won’t get made. Support great design!"
Trendhunter wrote "The sleek and compact design with its convenient handle makes this bright light practical to use and compatible with your life."
M Lamp had a popular debut at 100% Design London fair September 19-23...
Ralpine Design says "The design detailing, conceptual integrity, honesty makes this such an exciting product and one that seems to be a design classic in the making."
"The M Lamp is a great example of the past informing the future. Combining objects from our cultural memories with leading-edge technology makes for a truly durable design." – Peter Stathis, American Designer and Founder of Virtual Studio.
"The M lamp is the next design icon! It combines a traditional, functional idea with modern technology – giving us a modern solution to a perennial need! – George Beylerian, founder of Material Connexion and Culture & Commerce.
Brooklyn-based manufacturer Juniper teamed-up with British industrial designer David Irwin to create a task lamp that would better fit our fast-moving and often chaotic lifestyles. We simply felt that the constraints of the traditional wired lamp were no longer necessary, so we set out to create the ultimate light for modern life.
We started with a wired version of David's original award-winning design, and after a ton of research and investment, we managed to combine important advancements in LED and lithium cell technologies to develop what we believe is the world's greatest wireless task lamp...the M Lamp.
We designed it, engineered it and built it...and now we need your help to get the M Lamp to market.
The M Lamp's design was modeled after the iconic gas powered portable miners' lamps developed in North East England during the late 19th century.
What is it for and how does it work?
The M Lamp is a wireless, rechargeable lamp which serves a broad range of tasks — including office lamp, night light, emergency light, accent light, art lamp and companion light where regular wired lamps can't go.
Powered by an integrated Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) rechargeable battery, these simple yet beautiful tools for life and work can be wirelessly transported anywhere within the home, office and in between. The M Lamp, which stands at 9 inches (23 cm), projects up to 3,000 lux of warm light from its adjustable head. In standard mode, its dimmable LED will emit 1,000 lux for more than 8 hours on a single charge, which is ample brightness for late night work or reading in bed. And in the case of a power outage, the M Lamp will automatically illuminate at full power, making it a useful companion in times of need. The M Lamp is operated via an integrated touch senor, which is used to activate and dim the light to any level. The sensor also serves as an indicator light for battery and charge levels.
The M Lamp’s LED is rated to last 50,000 hours, while its battery can run 2,000 charging cycles with no loss in performance. The high-quality Bridgelux LED shines at 2700 K temperature and 80 CRI quality. Translation: The M Lamp will produce warm, flattering, wireless light for many, many years to come!
For those looking for a little more power and convenience, there is the M Lamp+. The same beautiful design comes with a 50% more powerful battery, generating wireless light for 12 hours in its standard setting, and it comes with a charging base for more convenient access.
David Irwin – Designer of the M Lamp
Inspired by the archetypal miner's lamps of 19th century North East England, emerging British industrial designer David Irwin set out in 2011 to create a contemporary play on the aesthetics and function of these historical icons — referencing the Geordie, Davy and Carbide lamps. The early wired version of the M Lamp was voted Best Interior Product at Design Event Mart UK 2011.
Shant Madjarian – Founder of Juniper
At about the same time David was conceiving the M Lamp, I left the finance industry to follow my passion for design. I launched a Brooklyn-based design and manufacturing business called Juniper, with the goal of bringing together talented people who are passionate about creating thoughtful solutions in lighting, furniture and accessories that address the work and play balance of our current lifestyles.
I met David at the 2011 furniture fair in New York and we have been collaborating ever since to bring useful and innovative products to market. The M Lamp has been our most complex project so far.
The M Lamp is made from high-grade aluminium and steel and finished in a durable Matte or Gloss powder coat. Components are precision engineered for a clean and quality finish. The finely constructed handle, thin body and animated head give the lamp its iconic feel and playful character.
The M Lamp is engineered and manufactured in the USA. While some parts are sourced overseas to manage costs, the M Lamp will be entirely finished in the USA and assembled in our factory in Brooklyn to ensure delivery of a consistently high quality product.
The M Lamp exemplifies our commitment to the environment:
- It consumes only 1.3 W of power in its standard setting and never more than 4.5 W at maximum power. This is a fraction of the power used in traditional incandescent lightbulbs.
- The LED bulb is rated to last 50,000 hours, and its greener and safer Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery will work 2,000 cycles with no loss in performance, vastly extending the product's life compared to other batteries. The battery does not contain any cobalt making it safe to dispose.
- Its small size minimizes the consumption of raw materials.
- The M Lamp can be completely disassembled and the vast majority of components can be recycled.
It is one thing to make a complex design seem simple, but it is another to foresee complexity in a seemingly simple design. The M Lamp posed many development challenges throughout, and with few examples of wireless lamps on the market, we had to look inward for solutions. Thank you to our team of brilliant engineers who got us through these many challenges, namely Jon Godston and Mike Garner.
The inherent tradeoff between battery power, light output and glare is by far the greatest challenge in making a wireless lamp. Relatively speaking, light actually consumes a lot of energy (you know this from how the brightness of your cell phone screens affect battery life).
The advent of LEDs makes portable lighting possible, but it is still far from being straightforward. With 1.2 W, we were able to produce enough functional light without draining the battery too quickly. However, we still had the problem of glare. Fully glare-free LED solutions were too power inefficient, so we experimented with many forms of diffusers, most of which reduced light output to unacceptable levels.
We set strict performance standards and challenged ourselves to find the optimal diffusion, power level and battery size that would make this a viable project. After many trials, we finally found the optimal configuration, helped by some cool diffusion technology that was new on the market. Once we had the light engine in place, we knew that all other challenges would be surmountable and so the M Lamp project was a GO!
Getting to Market – The Final Step
Whether for its design or its function, we think the M Lamp is a great project that will succeed on the market. What do we need to get there from here?
Simply put, we need:
- $30,000 for mold costs for 13 components. Most of the M Lamp components are custom designed. The prototype components were machined, which is not a viable for large quantities. Production requires injection molds and die casts, which run between $2,000-$4,000 per component.
- $30,000 for procurement of components at discounted quantity prices. Anything less would make component costs too expensive and the final product price too high. This is particularly true for the lamps electrical components.
With your combined contribution of $60,000, we are confident to get the M Lamp to production and into your hands by February!
Thank you all again – and thank you Kickstarter!! – for making this happen!
Our awesome video was directed by David Norian at Serious Work/Dot Gain Films. Thanks David and team!
Risks and challenges
We have spent 18 months developing the M Lamp. And the product is now completed. Our design and engineering team is made up of seasoned professionals who have developed and engineered products for some of the largest and most respected companies in America; including Microsoft, Minimal, Steelcase. We now have a final prototype, which has been tested on our site as well as by hundreds of industry professionals over a four-day period at the London Design fair. While a working prototype implies that the product is very unlikely to present unresolvable problems, it does not imply that the project is without risk of delays.
1 - First article evaluation and lot testing: Many of the curent prototype components have been formed through a process of CNC machining. In production these components will be injection molded or cast. We are awaiting Kickstarter funding to start fabrication of component molds and have therefore not tested tolerances of the resulting production parts. While we are working with precise 2D and 3D engineering drawings and machined prototypes, we need to do what is called an evaluation of first article parts and baseline testing on a sample set of production units. Tolerance (accuracy) errors and minor unpredictable design flaws could be a source of delays in the project.
2 - Supplier Risk: We have vetted our component suppliers through references, previous working experience, on site visits, prototype production and accreditations. While our vetting process is rigorous, we are a relatively young company and will be working with some of these suppliers for the first time. Assembly, and hence quality control, is done at our facility, so unsatisfactory products will not leave our shop, but delays can arise from poor component manufacturing. Separately, we have a lighting manufacturing partner in Montreal, Canada with over 30 years experience should we encounter problems with our local production line.
3 - There is a risk that production costs are greater than estimated, and the funds we raise may not be sufficient to cover all unforeseen costs. The partners of Juniper, have accounted for this by setting aside capital to meet differences in funding and actual costs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The M Lamp has an integrated high-quality lithium iron phosphate battery. The lamp is recharged by inserting a DC power charger in the DC jack at the base of the lamp. An indicator light on the top of the lamp light will notify user when the battery is full.
Should the battery malfunction or fail, the lamp can be opened by unfastening to scres at the bottom of the lamp. A replacement battery will be sent if the product is still under warranty, or one can be purchased through us on line through another vendor. The battery style is quite common.
Yes! This is one of the major benefits of the M Lamp. Outdoor outlets are few and far between, making the M Lamp a convenient light supply for outdoor dinners or neighborhood strolls. The lamp is water resistent. While we have not fully tested it, we believe the M Lamp can be tested as high as IP-65. Still, the M Lamp is not meant to be left outdoors, used near a swimming pool or as a garden lamp.
Do you plan on producing an M Lamp with wood caps similar to those in the original concept prototype?
We had not planned on it, but the demand is overwhelming. It is not as straightforward as swapping metal with wood. We are working on it, but it will not likely be ready in time for first production.
There are two main elements behind the the price of the M Lamp.
One is quality workmanship. We have spared no detail, and once the lamp is in your hands you will feel it. The lamp is made up of high grade and high precision metal components (the lamp weighs 2.5lbs with no added weights). The lamp's minimal design and straight lines requires high precision fitted components with the highest quality finish. Poor workmanship would be immediately noticeable.
The other is the wireless functionality. As a basic calculation: the battery, high-powered LED and the circuit board (which drives the touch dimmer and regulates the light and charge) cost a combined $25 based on production quantities. Multiply by 4 to get its equivalent retail value and we are already at $100 not including all other mechanical components, labor, overhead, packaging, fees and so on.
It makes perfect sense to make the M Lamp solar powered, and we looked into it early in the development process. All hopes were quickly dashed. By way of example, Nokia did a test to see if mobile phones could run on solar power. At 120mA (more than 10 times less than the M Lamp battery) the phones only produced 50% of daily use in the absolute best case scenario. The M Lamp, as a primarily indoor lamp, with a 2000mA battery puts solar far out of contention.
- (35 days)