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The Lamp Powered by Algae & Photosynthesis

While we run the risk of writing too much about photosynthesis, this plant-powered lamp was simply too good pass on. The Latro by Eindhoven-based designer Mark Thompson is a hanging lamp that draws energy from algae. Extremely tiny (on the nanometer scale) electrodes are inserted directly into algae's cells, right into the chloroplasts.

As the chloroplasts, the cellular organs responsible for photosynthesis, work their magic, the electrodes pull a small electric current and directs it to the lamp's battery. Thus the Latro is meant for mounting in outdoor spaces, or at least in areas where it's exposed to generous sunlight. The lamp's two spouts also let the owner refill the water and blow into to provide carbon dioxide, and allow oxygen to escape as a by-product of photosynthesis.

Much like solar energy, it's ironic that Latro needs sustained access to light to generate its own. But as lighting goes, Thompson's creation is packaged as a pretty eco-friendly solution. Other than the materials used in the lamp's construction, the water and algae used in Latro are plentiful in supply—and don't become garbage when thrown away.

Now if only Mike Thompson gets down to actually selling Latro to the market.

Latro lamp generates energy from algae during photosynthesis

  • oh look, it's a led bong.
    Reply
  • ecnovaec
    it might help their sales a bit to change the diagram from male to female... i'm just sayin
    Reply
  • TomD_1
    While this is all very good research/tech, I don't really see the whole "solar powered lamp" thing catching on
    Reply
  • Pyroflea
    WARNING: Do not drink lamp.
    Reply
  • rbarone69
    Great concept... Wonder if we can hook this directly to a coal stack?

    Love the illustrations... giving them to my wife.
    Reply
  • Fox Montage
    it's ironic that Latro needs sustained access to light to generate its own

    Requiring some form of energy source to the system is hardly ironic, unless you meant "this lamp can only be used when it's sunny". I thought the battery would charge during the day, and power the lamp when necessary?
    Reply
  • ubergeek
    Remind me again why I need a lamp if there is enough light for photosynthesys...
    Reply
  • Zoonie
    Keep up the alternative power articles. I for one enjoy them. Just keep the headlines true to the story though, unlike the iPhone-4-will-make-the-world-use-solarpowered-superrobots headline the other day. ;)
    Reply
  • sliem
    Next: dildo powered by photosynthesis outsold apple iPad
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    Why use photosynthesis in the first place? Just put a solar panel on it.
    Reply