Thanks to researchers at Stanford and Yansei universities who found an electrical current in algae during photosynthesis, there is now a “living lamp” that is powered by algae and totally puts your average dorm room lava lamp to shame.
The ingenius Latro Lamp, created by designer Mike Thompson, produces energy from an algae chamber that only needs water, CO2, and sunlight to operate. You simply place the lamp outside, breathe into it, and then enjoy the effects of a biobattery-powered living algae lamp.
A battery stores energy generated by the algae during the day, and a light sensor controls the intensity of the lamp while lit, keeping the algae from becoming malnourished. According to Mike’s website, users are urged to treat it like a pet, nourishing it regularly with CO2 and lots of light.
The electrical current in algae makes it an ideal source for tapping clean energy. This is just a small design project, but definitely shows promise for what could be done in the future, and the potential is certainly there for bigger products and projects.
I think it sounds like fun, and definitely a conversation starter at the very least. Would you use one of these lamps, or does it sound too high maintenance for your liking?
Images: Mike Thompson