Mechanically dimmed fluorescent lamp

Craft & Design Furniture & Lighting Technology
Mechanically dimmed fluorescent lamp

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]

circular neutral density filter radial gradient.jpg

4 thoughts on “Mechanically dimmed fluorescent lamp

  1. billedluh says:

    This is really a cool idea except that it takes up an awful lot of space (obviously). What I would do is make the gradient wrapped around a tube and have the tube go around the length of the fluorescent so that rotating it about it’s axis dims the light without taking up too much more space than a normal fluorescent. I actually might set that up in my garage…

  2. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    I know exactly what you mean–have the optical density gradient wrapped around a cylinder that’s wrapped around the bulb and free to rotate. I dig that a lot. If you can make it go, kindly shoot me an e-mail at and I’ll blog it.

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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 My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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