Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on January 10, 2009
What’s the best accessory for the modern green home office?
Designed by Yves Behar and more than three years in the making, the Leaf Light from Herman Miller is a sensually designed LED table lamp that, according to Behar, fuses “technology with humanity.” And while I would normally dismiss such an assessment as highly portentous, in this case I think it’s entirely fitting.
While most lights simply illuminate their surroundings (let’s face it: you turn it on and you turn it off, it either lights up the room or it doesn’t – there’s not a lot of gray area there), the Leaf actually enhances your personal space. Dimmable by a simple hand move, its thin, compact design allows for maximum lighting concepts: the lower part swivels 180 degrees, providing a wide range of local coverage, while the upper part can be folded down to light up your desk or raised up and aimed at the wall to create an ambient mood throughout the room.
And unlike most high-intensity LEDs that produce so much heat that a fan is required to keep it from burning out, Leaf stays “cool to the touch through the use of a patent-pending heat distribution system, achieved through an engineered heat sink and the stamp-formed, sculptural aluminum blade that allows heat to be dispersed and released without the use of a cooling fan.”
That sounds like a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo (and I personally don’t understand any of it), but I can tell you it works. And one of its coolest features is that it has a memory. Which means, once you find that perfectly dimmed mood-nurturing setting, you can turn it off and then come back to it later and enjoy it some more.
Behar says: “Leaf is designed to give the user a full spectrum of choices to express light’s magical and sensory variations. It allows the human senses to become engaged by allowing the user to choose the intensity and color of light which best suits a functional need, mood or location.” (Bordering on portentous yet again, but absolutely true.)
On the “G” side, the lamp was created under the strict guidelines of Herman Miller’s Design for the Environment (DfE) protocol, which demands the emphasis of sustainable materials, construction and eventual recyclability. And its environmental impact is impressive: consuming an average of only 8 or 9 watts of power, it boasts a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours of use and consumes only 60 percent of the energy of standard compact fluorescent lights.
The only potential downside is the price. $525 seems a lot to pay for a desk lamp, but trust me – this one’s worth it.