I love this lamp made from its own coiled extension cord by Craighton Berman. He’ll sell you one ready-made with a cord, or just the laser-cut acrylic frame and lamp guts so you can roll your own.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Damien

    How warm does it get?
    I realise compact fluorescent lights don’t draw much power, but what’s the likely inductance of an air-cored coil of that diameter / number of turns? Is it a possible fire hazard?

    • gear head

      add that to the 60W-100W bulb that some dummy will put in it because the lamp’s not bright enough and you have a nice little firestarter right there.

      Isn’t this the reason we have UL, CSA and BS safety standards?

  • joe

    One has to realize that this coil is not an inductor that will generate heat. When an inductor is made, you use one wire and wind it. This is using two wires and each cancel the other out therefore there is no inductance. With no inductance there is no resistance other than the normal resistance in the copper wire and in reality, there is no heat generated by coiling the extension cord. You can verify this if you want by coiling an extension cord and running a 100 watt light bulb off of it. You will find that there is no heating happening. This lamp is not a fire starter. Basics of electricity folks two wires together with current flowing in opposite directions cancel out any magnetic currents, this is why we use Romex, with the old single wire, knob and tube wiring, it was not uncommon for a single wire to heat an iron nail next to it and cause fires. When Romex was invented and used the amounts of fires caused by electrical wiring dropped. Think on this, a two wire romex cable is running from the panel to a receptacle. This romex is not unlike the two wire extension cord in the lamp above. Now this cable (romex) is fastened by a number of cable staples (iron/ steel based). Why do these staples not heat up if there is a magnet field surrounding the cable? They do not heat up because the magnetic fields cancel each other out and there is no difference if the cable is coiled or straight. Look at a transformer, same principle. I have over 40 years of electrical / electronic, data communications experience.

  • japroach

    Its primary purpose is an extension cord holder, second is “art”, and lamp is probably third.

  • Chas

    Cool, yes. $75 for the kit version, no.