British designer Jake Dyson would make a persuasive ambassador of sensible technology and innovation. Narelle Yabuka discovered why during the launch of his CSYS LED desk light in Singapore.
9 April, 2012
If you were to use a Jake Dyson-designed CSYS LED task light for 12 hours daily starting from today, you shouldn’t need to replace its LED chips until at least 2049.
That’s 37 years (or 160,000 hours) of optimal light emission – over 3 times more longevity than typical LED lights.
CSYS LED task light
Dyson had an important point to prove with this product, and he explained it in detail when he launched the CSYS light recently at Space Furniture in Singapore.
The biggest obstacle to the longevity of LED chips, he said, is temperature. “That’s what many people have ignored. Sadly, a lot of lighting manufacturers are churning out products that look nice, but don’t protect the technology inside,” he explained.
“Some companies are even producing disposable LED light bulbs that only have a 30,000-hour life. With CSYS I want to prove that if you design something properly, you can make it last for life.”
Since Dyson established his first workshop in 2004, he has released just 3 products: CSYS, and 2 versions (wall and floor) of the Motorlight – a variable-angle uplight.
“We’re not stylists. We’re engineers,” he says of his small London-based team, which consists of Dyson himself, 2 senior design engineers, and an office manager.
The long lead times are explained by the fact that the team is involved in the entire design, testing, and manufacturing process – even creating instruction manuals. “I oversee everything – from concept to shop shelf. You have to understand all the issues with the product to make it incredibly reliable and perfect. At no point do I want to lose grip of that,” he says.
When developing the CSYS light, the team spent 2 years studying LED products and trying to understand how they could be improved. The resulting product incorporates heat pipe technology that was originally developed for satellites and is now used in laptops and TVs.
The copper heat pipe within CSYS rapidly carries heat away from the LED chips and radiates it along the length of the adjustable arm, which moves on a wheel mechanism inspired by drawing boards.
Every millimetre of the dimmable CSYS light – mechanics, materials, and electronics – has been engineered for longevity and optimal performance. It’s little wonder that Dyson (son of bagless vacuum creator James Dyson) was keen to ensure his audience at Space Furniture gained a thorough understanding of its strengths.
CSYS light in different colours
And given the disposal and performance issues associated with compact fluorescent bulbs – one of the main alternate light sources to LEDs – we’d do well to listen up.
What’s next for Dyson? “I don’t necessarily think I’ll always be doing lights,” he says. “I just want to satisfy the ideas I have at the moment.” Spoken with the curiosity of a true inventor.
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