I love me a high-precision, interlocking aluminum light fixture. You would be hard pressed to fall out of a two-story window and land on a truck full of anything of the sort these days. However, the scrap-savvy, layer-lovin’ crew at Graypants, Inc. has created, perhaps, the most ingenious of all lighting designs in an effort to cut down on the amount of air unnecessarily shipped around the world.
Steplights are a set of precision-machined (that makes it sound more awesomer), interlocking (project time), recycled aluminum (whatup earth) pendant lights that assemble to shed more light on your wasteful habits. There are four different designs: Echo, Luna, Juno, and Vela–How they matched the names to exactly those of my children, I’ll never know. The pieces of each light fit snugly within the layers of cardboard packaging sheets that, when open, also serves as a jig. Experience the magic we speak of in the all-to-quick stop-motion sequence below.
Hanking for more details? Here’s what Graypants has to say about the Step-Pack design and the reason behind it.
A common problem in the product design industry is essentially “shipping air.” We set out to tackle this problem by developing Step-Pack to be as compact, material saving, and multi-functional as possible.
Typically a shipping box serves only as a thin, disposable membrane of protection. Due to the hollow shape of most light fixtures, protecting them during the shipping process requires stuffing or wrapping the parts in useless materials that will only be thrown away upon unboxing. Step-Pack distills the empty box into it’s strongest form – a compact and tightly bundled stack of corrugated layers.
This does away with wasteful wrapping, cushioning and inserts while allowing for a unique unboxing and assembly experience. By envisioning the packaging in layers, each tray takes upon a specialized function, allowing for a flat-packing light fixture that is simple and delightful to build, from the package up. Lifting off each tray reveals the flat-packed aluminum pieces, marketing materials and assembly instructions, and cutouts that serve as assembly jigs – all in the order most useful for the user.
By rethinking the step pack to be more than a disposable barrier, we were ultimately able to develop a more innovative product – a light that is less expensive to ship, more respectful of the environment, and more gratifying for the user.
Each Steplight is a real products available for purchase through the Graypants shop. For premium awesome, you’ll pay premium price with the pendents starting at USD $695. Spec sheets are available on these site for each light and like any good lighting manufacturer they provide the option of white or black cord.
Given our audience however, I’m sure this has given a few of you some ideas on making your own step-style light, skipping the unpacking altogether. Wood, metal, concrete, old shoe? What material is best to use?