The Tolomeo Mini Table Task Lamp is a standing luminaire for orientable direct task lighting. Fully adjustable articulated arm body structures in extruded aluminum. Joints, tension control knobs and base in Polished Die-cast Aluminum. Tension cables in Stainless Steel. Diffuser in stamped, Anodized Matte Aluminum, rotatable 360 degrees on lampholder with incorporated on/off switch. Available in Polished Aluminum, White or Black finish. Shown in Aluminum finish. One 100 Watt 120 Volt E26/G16Cl incandescent lamp (not included). Also available with Fluorescent lamping and in a smaller and larger size. Designed by Michele De Lucchi and Gerhard Fassina in 1987-1991. UL Listed. Made in Italy. Shipping: Shipping information will be emailed to you within two business days after placing an order. Dimensions: Base: Diameter 7.75 in. Fixture: Overall Length 40.5 in. Height 21 in. Reach 26.75 in.
I firmly believe that expensive and well designed office chairs like Aeron or Mirra make a very good investment. On the other hand my friend, a very successful entrepreneur, tells me that much cheaper 300 dollar chairs are just as good, and that his most prized employees, when asked what kind of a chair they want said that it does not matter. My friend is very smart, very rich, and probably right.
People who have chair lust, like me, sometimes have an even more irrational desire – to buy expensive table lamps. When Joel Spolsky visited me at work, i pointed out to him that everyone at my office had a four hundred dollar Artemide Tolomeo desk lamp. Joel, famous for his office architecture fetish, was not impressed — oh yeah, we have a whole bunch of them too at Fog Creek, — he said.
I noticed that the set designer of the hit show House, MD also has an obsession with lamps. Even more interestingly, I noticed that Dr House’s office has three very interesting lamps.
Lamp A is a paragon of British design, Bestlite, a lamp that I always wanted, and never bought because it’s crazy to spend that much money on a lamp. Designed by Robert Dudley Best and made famous by Winston Churchill, who had one in his office, it’s the Bentley of expensive designer lamps. It’s just crazy to spend over $600 on a lamp, innit?
Lamp B is the Artemide Tolomeo, a floor version of the lamp that I have at work. It’s a beautiful lamp that works very well. The desk version is about half the price of Bestlite, but it’s crazy to spend $300 on a lamp, right? Even if it’s designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina?
Lamp C appears all throughout Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and gets the most screen time. It’s a 25 dollar Antifoni work lamp from Ikea, and the one that I have on my desk at home. Who designed it? I don’t know, it says “Ikea of Sweden”. What does Antifoni mean? According to Nordic Names, a website for translating crazy Ikea names like Bjöberg and Drömma, it means “antiphony“.
By the way, apparently Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has a Nazi past and chose to name all the furniture because SKUs were hard for him to keep track of due to his dyslexia. Also Gillis Lundgren, besides being famous for designing the Billy bookcase (I have 12 of these in my apartment) , actually invented the concept of flat pack furniture when he sawed off legs from a table that would not fit into a car.
Also on the subject of Ikea lamps:
You know what I hate? Well, many things. But I especially hate bad lighting. Office lighting. Even in the best furnished, expensive offices with Aeron chairs in cubes and espresso machine in the kitchen, lighting is provided by the same crappy cheap fluorescent fixtures of horror.
You know them. There is probably one hanging above your cube right now. Grating on your eyes, throwing glare onto your monitor. Giving you headaches and depressing the hell out of you. Well, of course, it’s not like that everywhere. For instance, a long time ago, in a galaxy called the dot com, I interviewed at a company called Betelgeuse. It was named after an extremely bright red supergiant in the Orion Nebula, which name English speakers pronounce “beatlejuuuze” OR “beatlejuice”, and Russians pronounce “betelgeyze”. Itâ€™s a dying star, about to explode (or go supernova if you want to put a positive spin on it).
In any case, this company had the coolest lighting scheme. They turned off all the lights except a few small spotlights, and lit the corridors with decorative candles. The offices were lit with individual lamps.
But what can a cube monkey like me (and probably you) do about the lighting situation? Well, for one, you can kill the horrible hell beacon above your cube. Since there is no light switch, here is what you need to do.
Get onto a chair and get close to the lighting fixture. Your task is to unplug the fluorescent tube from it’s socket. It can be usually accomplished by rocking the tube slightly left-right and away from the socket. Make sure to let your friendly maintenance person and your boss know you are doing this. You don’t want someone trying to open the fixture and get hit on a head with a fluorescent tube. Also, don’t burn or electrocute yourself. This trick only works with fluorescent tubes.
But Michael, you ask, what else can I do? You can light everything with full spectrum natural lights. A cheapo solution is to use GE reveal bulbs. They cost about as much as regular incandescent bulbs but have a spectrum that is less yellow. Everything looks a bit better. I use Reveal bulbs at home.
There is also a more expensive option – full spectrum fluorescent fixtures. Remember, in previous WML I mentioned aquarium limps? Well, besides aquarium lights they make full spectrum tubes for regular lighting.