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Matchstick Light is a simple wooden LED lamp designed by Sam Thompson. In designer’s words, “The simple outer form hides the complexities of the manufacturing. Each light is milled from one solid maple blank. The sticks of maple are actually comprised of two separate halves, with all components and wiring sealed inside. I designed the overall form, machined the wood components, and did final assembly.
I was helped by Zack Shivers, an electrical engineer and friend, who designed and assembled the circuitry. I knew I would be assembling all of the lights by hand on my own, so I strove to create internals that were as simple and elegant as the exterior. I worked closely with Zack to tackle the challenge of thermal management, and we were able to devise a solution which should allow around 50,000 hours of LED life.
Academically, the light is an exploration of how a CNC mill can expand and enhance the capabilities of the maker; allowing them to create something that would be impossible, or at least unreasonable, to create entirely by hand.”