Illuminating New Take on Magnetic Switches

While there’s something to be said for dead-bug construction, hot glue, and other construction methods that simply get the job done, it’s inspiring to see other builds that are refined and intentional but that still hack together things for purposes other than their original intent. To that end, [Li Zanwen] has designed an interesting new lamp that uses magnets to turn itself on in a way that seems like a magnetic switch of sorts, but not like any we’ve ever seen before.

While the lamp does use a magnetic switch, it’s not a traditional switch at all. There are two magnetic balls on this lamp attached by strings. OneĀ hangs from the top of the circular lamp and the other is connected to the bottom. When this magnet is brought close to the hanging magnet, the magnetic force is enough to both levitate the lower magnet, and pull down on a switch that’s hidden inside the lamp which turns it on. The frame of the lamp is unique in itself, as the lights are arranged on the inside of the frame to illuminate the floating magnets.

While we don’t typically feature design hacks, it’s good to see interesting takes on common things. After all, you never know what’s going to inspire your next hackathon robot, or your next parts drawer build. All it takes is one spark of inspiration to get your imagination going!

29 thoughts on “Illuminating New Take on Magnetic Switches

    1. Apartment Therapy is a mix of Ikea hacks, Design Articles, Renovations, & ads for stupidly expensive furniture.
      Tage Frid wrote a bunch of good books on designing furniture and wood joinery.
      And of course there’s multiple communities built around hacking Ikea products.

      Not sure if that’s quite what you’re looking for.

    1. As inspired by this comment and an article on hackaday a few days ago about the scroll lock key, I would like to say “I have a suggestion to all web-browser developers” and it goes like this:
      I would like to suggest a new function for the scroll-lock key in web browsers. It would allow us to disable all the gif related nonsense. Perhaps even someday scoll-lock would be synonymous for gif-lock. It would work like this: by enabling scroll-lock the gif would no be loaded therefore saving bandwidth and saving the user from annoying/distracting video loops. And if it proves successful, then one day we will even have phones that will have a scroll-lock button. This would eventually restore the balance of internet bandwidth and restore the honors of the forgotten scroll-lock key.

    2. A real video requires a player, which is bulky. It’d need to be started manually because autoplaying videos are evil.

      What Internet are you on where 20MB is a problem? Dial-up? Are you that guy who added Internet support to a Commodore 64?

    1. Came here to say this. Keep some skepticism, for sure. But I completely agree with the editors’ choice to feature this one, because it’s completely novel, and I think some of us could use the occasional kick in the pants to think about aesthetics.

      Maybe a regular feature, like Sunday Sweets on Cakewrecks, when we take time out from the Arduino-and-hot-glue carnage to appreciate something really different.

    1. 20MB gifs are bad for people running CP/M on their mid-90s homebrew PCs with ESP8266 wifi adapters.

      Also, it’s Hackaday. Every article has commenters who’ll latch on some piddling thing to whine about.

    2. My main beef is that they generally software autoloop animated GIFs and don’t allow for pausing. Firefox does have a config setting to just “play once” or don’t play. There are plug-ins for other browsers but I find they aren’t maintained and most don’t work anymore.

  1. It is a clever idea, a neat trick. In that sense it’s a hack, but it got put into a product,
    So commenters have to hate on it. Btw, bitching about a 20meg file? Upgrade your plan.

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