In a purely practical sense, this idea is kind of goofy since electric lights can, in general, be dimmed, you know, electrically. However, and if my understanding is correct, that’s a little trickier with fluorescent lighting. It can be done, but it’s considerably more complicated than with incandescent bulbs, and there are problems maintaining a consistent color temperature. Even though it’s not exactly ground-breaking, then, I still really like this mechanically-dimmed lamp by designer Camille Blin, at least in part because it reminds me of the cool tunable neutral density filters (e.g. below) I used to play with on the optics bench in grad school. [via NOTCOT]