FORM on Design: Wood Light—Yes, You Read That Right

A joint effort between Japanese designer Ryosuke Fukusada and LEDON, the new lightbulb combines ancient craft techniques with cutting edge technology inside. Image courtesy LEDON.Just when we thought translucent concrete was one of the most unusual design ideas we’d come across—until we got a look at it that is—we’ve found another one. Get ready for the wood light bulb, a collaboration between Kyoto-based designer Ryosuke Fukusada and LEDON, an Austrian firm that’s on the leading edge of LED technology.

For Fukusada, the new bulb marks another exploration into the space where traditional design and craft practices and modern technologies and forms merge—blending a centuries-old Japanese woodworking technique with cutting-edge lighting design.

Using a technique called rokuro, a Japanese practice that involves turning a pine block on a lathe and carefully carving the wood down, the bulb itself is between two and three millimeters thick. For the project, Fukusada worked with Yuki Ayabe, one of the masters of this vanishing art.

Beyond its functionality, the light bulb is stunning. When off, it looks like an ordinary, albeit light bulb-shaped chunk of wood, when on, though, it transforms, emitting a gorgeous, soft light through the almost paper thin walls. The LED candle itself, from LEDON, has a very high color-rendering index and has a low thermal emission making the object technically possible.

Each bulb is handmade and current production is in an extremely limited edition.

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