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A cosmic perspective for every home.
A cosmic perspective for every home.
A cosmic perspective for every home.
168 backers pledged $51,807 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Orrery Lamp: A Minimal, Dimmable Solar System project video thumbnail
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Orrery Lamp: A Minimal, Dimmable Solar System

$51,807

168

What is Orrery Lamp?

Orrery Lamp is a dimmable, warm light as well as an adjustable, abstract representation of our Earth and Moon orbiting our host star. 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden superpower

By glancing between a companion website and the lamp, users can manually adjust the Earth and Moon around the Sun to correspond perfectly with any moment now or in the near future.

Mobile Calibration
Mobile Calibration

 

When viewed on screens larger than a phone, users can observe fine-grained astronomical information and can play with the visualization to more intuitively understand the choreography of the Sun, Earth, and Moon over time.

Desktop Calibration
Desktop Calibration

Product specifications

Orrery Lamp is designed and manufactured entirely in Los Angeles, CA, around a small community of designers and fabricators.

• Custom, hand-blown glass diffuser (4" diameter)
• Machined brass
• Walnut wood base
• Cork bottom (for maximum friction)

Rewards

We're keeping the rewards for this campaign lean and meaningful. Our funding goal is designed to help us ship about 50 lamps of varying size and finish to big picture thinkers around the globe. Choose a reward below to help us introduce Orrery Lamp into the world. 

High quality, matte print showing your precise place around the Sun at the exact moment you choose this reward. Cool, huh?
High quality, matte print showing your precise place around the Sun at the exact moment you choose this reward. Cool, huh?

 

Brass table or floor lamp + 1 Personalized Calibration Print
Brass table or floor lamp + 1 Personalized Calibration Print

 

Midnight Blue table or floor lamp + 1 Personalized Calibration Print
Midnight Blue table or floor lamp + 1 Personalized Calibration Print

Inspiration

We wanted to create something that celebrated the choreography between the Earth, Moon, and Sun so as to not only light up someone's desk, baby changing station, or living room, but also to juxtapose our struggles as nations, religions, and economies with the simple fact that we're all, to quote Carl Sagan, "on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

Earth as imaged from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, as it exited the solar system in 1990
Earth as imaged from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, as it exited the solar system in 1990

Design process

Orrery Lamp is the result of 3 years of doodling, researching, prototyping and refining to land upon a cosmic-yet-accessible form factor that anyone would want to invite into their home.

 

 

Testing 3D print quality early on
Testing 3D print quality early on


The final prototype was codeveloped with artist and engineer Eddy Sykes, a Los Angeles local and materials expert. 

Eddy Sykes
Eddy Sykes

The warm, diffuse light that emanates from Orrery Lamp is the result of a collaboration with industrial designer and glass blower Nate Cotterman, also based in LA.

Nate Cotterman
Nate Cotterman

So, what's an Orrery? 

Orreries, or mechanical models of the solar system, became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. In order to effectively illustrate and predict the relative position of planets and moons, most orreries are essentially large mechanical clocks.

1832 Orrery by Raingo Fréres
1832 Orrery by Raingo Fréres

The minimal aesthetic of Orrery Lamp is as much a reaction to the "mechanism heavy" orreries of yesteryear as it is an effort to pay tribute to the beauty of general relativity and some of the great cosmological thinkers throughout history.

Behind the lamp

Orrery Lamp is a project by Bobby Genalo, a product designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Though primarily a software designer, Bobby has a habit of creating interactive, tangible products that can serve as playful mental models of living systems. He lives with his wife and historian, Jemma Lorenat, and their son, Kepler.

Bobby & Kepler
Bobby & Kepler

Thank you

This lamp is the end result of many conversations and collaborations over several years. I want to specifically cite some friends who have helped push this idea past the "what if" phase and into reality.

• Eddy Sykes, for materials and mechanism prototyping 
• Nate Cotterman, for beautiful diffusers
• Jason Calhoun at SoLongSaturn, for shooting / editing the video
• Derek Muro at YouTooCanWoo, for the soundtrack to the video
• Ben Dean, for rendering help and design critiques
• Rune Madsen, for programmatic design guidance
• Humna Khan, for validating some of my naïve astronomical ideas
• Eric Hagan, for early co-doodling and mechanism research

Press

Help spread the word: Download our press kit here.

Risks and challenges

While this is our first Kickstarter campaign, it is not our first experience manufacturing a unique, limited-run product. We have built relationships with vendors in Los Angeles and Pasadena who have the infrastructure to start production in September and are excited about the project.

Shipping costs are still being assessed as we anticipate this product requiring custom foam to prevent the adjustable arms from swiveling en route.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you / Subscribe!

    Follow our production journey via periodic email updates as we go from prototype to finished product.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Personalized Calibration Print!

    A backer-centric visualization of the Earth, Moon, and Sun at the exact time (and place!) that you choose this reward. Printed on premium matte 8.5"x11" paper.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $290 or more About $290

    Early bird: Table Lamp in Brass & Walnut

    One 11" tall table lamp in brass with a walnut base + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $290 or more About $290

    Early bird: Table Lamp in Midnight Blue

    One 11" tall table lamp powder coated dark blue + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Table Lamp in Brass & Walnut

    One 11" tall table lamp in brass with a walnut base + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    49 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Table Lamp in Midnight Blue

    One 11" tall table lamp powder coated dark blue + Personalized Calibration Print

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    17 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $490 or more About $490

    Early Bird: Floor Lamp in Brass & Walnut

    One 54" tall floor lamp in brass with a walnut base + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $490 or more About $490

    Early bird: Floor Lamp in Midnight Blue

    One 54" tall floor lamp powder coated dark blue (Bobby's personal fav) + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    Floor Lamp in Brass & Walnut

    One 54" tall floor lamp in brass with a walnut base + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    11 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    Floor Lamp in Midnight Blue

    One 54" tall floor lamp powder coated dark blue (Bobby's personal fav) + Personalized Calibration Print

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    6 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Custom Orrery Lamp

    Collaborate with Bobby on the color of your one-of-a-kind Orrery Lamp (either table or floor). Oh, and 1 Personalized Calibration Print!

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)